Pulitzer Prizes Awarded Today

Easy to miss, given the destruction of Notre Dame Cathedral.

Here is the full list. Some highlights (my highlights, ymmv)

Public Service:  South Florida Sun Sentinel for exposing failings by school and law enforcement officials before and after the deadly shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Breaking News Reporting: Staff of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for immersive, compassionate coverage of the massacre at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue that captured the anguish and resilience of a community thrust into grief.

Local Reporting: Staff of The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La., for a damning portrayal of the state’s discriminatory conviction system, including a Jim Crow-era law, that enabled Louisiana courts to send defendants to jail without jury consensus on the accused’s guilt.

Feature Writing: Hannah Dreier of ProPublica for a series of powerful, intimate narratives that followed Salvadoran immigrants on New York’s Long Island whose lives were shattered by a botched federal crackdown on the international criminal gang MS-13.

History: Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, by David W. Blight (Simon & Schuster) A breathtaking history that demonstrates the scope of Frederick Douglass’ influence through deep research on his writings, his intellectual evolution and his relationships.

Special Awards and Citations: Aretha Franklin for her indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades.

46 replies
  1. 1
    zhena gogolia says:

    Also a special award to the Capital Gazette.

    ReplyReply
  2. 2
    Sab says:

    Pleased to see the BR Advocate got one for their work.

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  3. 3
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    It’s comforting to see that there’s still high -quality, meaningful journalism happening.

    On another note, did the (self) righteous Senator from Vermont release his tax returns today?

    ReplyReply
  4. 4
    Betty Cracker says:

    I was rooting for the Sun-Sentinel and am glad they won. The coverage was extraordinary and has made a difference.

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  5. 5
  6. 6
    VeniceRiley says:

    Are any of us going to read Wilmer’s tax returns now?

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  7. 7
    Phylllis says:

    I’m listening to the Frederick Douglass audiobook on my commute. It is amazing*.

    *It’s performed by a man named Prentice Onayemi, who is working a bit of an Idris Elba quality.

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  8. 8
    ola azul says:

    Jay:

    Lil prefatory headsup: Seems I recall you mentioning you’ve spent your share a time getting your stones crunched swinging inna boson’s chair 50 or 60 feets in the air.

    Gotta mast-rigging question for you wanted to talk thru if willing bout rigging location for asym halyard block/mounting hardware once there’sa open thread later.

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  9. 9
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Maybe sorta OT, but a good Seattle Times piece here about the hard life and homelessness of Rebecca Twigg – a multiple Olympic medal winner, and at one time arguably the best woman cyclist in the world. For those who follow and have followed cycling for years, a sad story.

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  10. 10
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @VeniceRiley: I expect I will, after I finish my own.

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  11. 11
    Rob Lll says:

    There was also another music Pulitzer awarded to a composer named Ellen Reid, who lives here in LA. For anyone interested in contemporary classical music, I would really recommend you check out her work — it’s extraordinary.

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  12. 12
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Thank you for the link.

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  13. 13
    randy khan says:

    The prizes for public service and breaking news are, as often is the case, kind of heartbreaking. If only those stories had not needed to be written.

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  14. 14
    Brachiator says:

    History: Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, by David W. Blight (Simon & Schuster) A breathtaking history that demonstrates the scope of Frederick Douglass’ influence through deep research on his writings, his intellectual evolution and his relationships.

    I guess I’m going to have to read this one. I recall that the NYT review really sucked and put me off the book.

    Also good to see The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke, by Jeffrey C. Stewart, honored for Biography. Locke is definitely worthy of rediscovery.

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  15. 15
    Martin says:

    House Dems just subpoenaed Deutsche Bank. Not holding my breath there.

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  16. 16
    guachi says:

    Looks like Millionaire Wilmer finally released his taxes. 10-years worth.

    ReplyReply
  17. 17
    VeniceRiley says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I finished mine and dropped them at the post office during lunch. Feds owe me 108 and State owes me 261. Hope they get it to me in time to buy mom an awesome 96th birthday present in May.

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  18. 18
    Mathguy says:

    Brent F***ing Staples won for op/ed? They need to take that awards committee and drop them off a cliff.

    ReplyReply
  19. 19
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @VeniceRiley: Yeah, I’m stalling because I have to pay both Feds and State big bucks.

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  20. 20
    ola azul says:

    @Phylllis:

    I hear Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more! That, and Abraham Lincoln was a Republican — not a lot of people know that! //

    Read all three FD autobios. Amazing man, amazing life, and hella-fine leonine bearing. Woulda been sumpin to hear him speak, I expect.

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  21. 21
    J R in WV says:

    I was really saddened when I learned that people have to submit a portfolio of work in application for a Pulitzer prize. I had thought people with the committee would identify great reporting on their own… but nope. You gotta build and submit a set of leather bound applications with all the work plus drum beating and hell raising to get evaluated.

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  22. 22
    Sab says:

    @VeniceRiley: I very much want to read Wilmer’s tax returns.

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  23. 23
    WhatsMyNym says:

    @Martin: According to the FTFNYT article they’ve been negotiating the terms with DB’s lawyers for months

    The subpoena to Deutsche Bank had been in the works for months, with congressional investigators negotiating the specific demands with the bank’s lawyers. Deutsche Bank had pushed for the subpoena’s scope to be narrowed, arguing that doing so would make it easier and faster for the bank to produce the documents, three of the people said.

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  24. 24
    oldgold says:

    I used to have great respect for this award. Then, my local paper won a Pulitzer for editorial writing. I had in-depth and firsthand knowledge of the matter that was the subject of these Pulitzer winning editorials. The award should have been for science fiction writing.

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  25. 25
    JPL says:

    Congrats to all the winners, and we need their reporting. A special shout out to both the Sun Sentinel and the Post Gazette.

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  26. 26
    Tenar Arha says:

    @Mathguy: Are you sure you’re swearing at the right guy? Because there’s Bret Stephens & Brent Staples writing op-eds at the FTFNYT. They are not at all similar in any way except they’re both men.

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  27. 27
    ola azul says:

    @Sab:

    I very much want to read Wilmer’s tax returns.

    Aren’t you a tax preparer? (Hope you’ll forgive it if I misremembered that.)

    If ya, I want your take onnit as well! It’s the diff betwixt the layperson’s “this smells like shit but I can’t say exactly why,” and the pro’s eagle-eye of “this *is* shit *because*”.

    Bring receipts! as the kidz likes to sez.

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  28. 28
    debbie says:

    Yay to The Advocate for exposing those bullshit non-anonymous verdicts!

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  29. 29
    randy khan says:

    @Tenar Arha:

    And NYT editorials are not signed, so you wouldn’t normally know who writes them, unlike op-ed columnists whose names are on their columns.

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  30. 30
    Brachiator says:

    The returns show that Mr. Sanders’s earnings shot up after his first presidential bid, when he built up a vast national following. His income topped $1 million in 2016 and 2017, lifted by proceeds from his books.

    Mr. Sanders and his wife, Jane O’Meara Sanders, had an adjusted gross income of $561,293 in 2018, according to their most recent tax return. Mr. Sanders had about $393,000 in book income last year, and he and his wife reported giving $18,950 to charity.

    Their federal taxes came to $145,840, for an effective federal tax rate of 26 percent.

    Nothing too exciting here.

    Mr. Sanders’s higher income in recent years creates some political awkwardness for the senator, who in his 2016 presidential campaign frequently railed against “millionaires and billionaires” and their influence over the political process.

    This is horse shit, but I expected this lazy ass narrative to take off. Look for it to be a top riff at Fox News.

    ETA: Kamala Harris and Elizbeth Warren have higher adjusted gross incomes. Again, don’t mean squat unless the expectation is that Democrats must take a vow of poverty in order to represent the peoples.

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  31. 31
    Lapassionara says:

    The story from the Baton Rouge paper is the one that shocked me. What a story. What a law. Seriously, how did this go on so long, and now we have a Supreme Court that will probably think this is just fine.

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  32. 32
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    I remember from listening to Blight’s iTunes U class on the Civil War that he minced absolutely no words about racism as a driving factor in the cementing of slavery as a “peculiar institution” in America, so I would expect him to be equally unsparing in relating Douglass’s life and times. Maybe that’s what the reviewer was responding to?

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  33. 33
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    I would rather have an actual tax person look at the full returns than rely on media reports. Remember, the attacks about Hillary’s “Wall Street speeches” came from her 20+ years of publicly released tax returns that Sanders’ minions decided to weaponize. That makes me suspect he has some embarrassing tidbits hidden in his own returns that he didn’t want to make vulnerable to counter-attacks.

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  34. 34
    Baud says:

    @Brachiator:

    Nothing too exciting here.

    Certainly no reason to set fire to Notre Dame as a distraction.

    ReplyReply
  35. 35
    Sab says:

    @Lapassionara: That is why that story was so important.

    NPR has covered this quite a bit this spring, and you know they wouldn’t have without the coverage by the local press.

    ReplyReply
  36. 36
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Martin:

    House Dems just subpoenaed Deutsche Bank. Not holding my breath there.

    I’m not sure I have the vocabulary to express how very much I want former SCOTUS Justice Anthony Kennedy’s son to be served with a subpoena.

    And the Dishonorable ex-Justice himself, too. That whole thing stank to high heaven from jump, and I hope I live long enough to see a proper investigation — and, well, justice — done.

    ReplyReply
  37. 37
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Baud:

    Nothing too exciting here.

    Certainly no reason to set fire to Notre Dame as a distraction.

    SNORFLE!! This is why Baud! 2020! has my vote.

    ReplyReply
  38. 38
    Kathleen says:

    Speaking of St. Slanders, here’s headline

    from Mediaite Tweet:

    Bernie Sanders Organizer Screams Expletives at Rally: ‘F*ck Hillary! F*ck Hillary!

    Here’s a link to the actual article:

    https://www.mediaite.com/print/bernie-sanders-organizer-screams-expletives-at-rally-fck-hillary-fck-hillary/

    ETA: Also too, according to some of the Twitterati, he’s released only partial returns for certain years.

    ReplyReply
  39. 39
    debbie says:

    @Sab:

    i believe Reveal (on NPR, from the Center for Investigative Reporting) had a show on this. They’ve had a few programs on LA goings on.

    ReplyReply
  40. 40
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    Okay, I just had to look up the NYT review because the LAT and other reviews were rapturous.

    That NYT review was a poorly-written piece of dreck. The reviewer didn’t seem interested in the subject or the period at all, and glommed onto a few “scandalous” factoids that other reviews didn’t even mention.

    Don’t let a poorly written review put you off a good book.

    ReplyReply
  41. 41
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I would rather have an actual tax person look at the full returns than rely on media reports.

    There are some people I trust. Like me, for example, with 30 plus years of tax and accounting experience. Even the initial reporting that the bulk of the increase in his income comes from royalties from book sales hints that there ain’t too much spectacular in his returns. But I haven’t seen actual returns yet. And the major papers, the NYT and LA Times and WaPo have access to experts as well as some good business reporters.

    And yeah, on this issue, I trust my own judgment abso-fucking-lutely.

    Remember, the attacks about Hillary’s “Wall Street speeches” came from her 20+ years of publicly released tax returns that Sanders’ minions decided to weaponize.

    I don’t remember this at all. I remember fools coming at Hillary (and Bill) with preconceptions making up shit. I do not recall a single news story with anything significantly negative about their tax returns.

    That makes me suspect he has some embarrassing tidbits hidden in his own returns that he didn’t want to make vulnerable to counter-attacks.

    We shall see. But I remember fools making a judgement that Al Gore didn’t give enough to charity. This was based on nothing but assholes thinking that they should be able to decide how much was enough based on their ignorance and envy.

    Links to the actual returns are here

    2018 is boring. No hints of tons of interest, dividends, stocks, partnerships or other fun items. No big ass Net Operating Loss, like Trump.

    ReplyReply
  42. 42
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    I do not recall a single news story with anything significantly negative about their tax returns.

    Ah, that’s where you misread me: I said that Wilmer’s minions came up with the “Wall Street speeches” meme by combing through Hillary’s tax returns and spread that meme on Twitter and other internet outlets. The MSM then obligingly picked that “story” up as “some people say that Hillary’s Wall Street speeches were problematic …” and we were off to the races.

    You’re not remembering the part where the slam came from information in her tax returns because Wilmer’s minions were careful to downplay that since Wilmer was refusing to release his returns and it created awkward questions about why he hadn’t and whether it was fair to attack Hillary using her tax returns when Wilmer refused to release his.

    ReplyReply
  43. 43
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Ah, that’s where you misread me: I said that Wilmer’s minions came up with the “Wall Street speeches” meme

    What was the information in her tax returns? That she was well paid? It was bullshit piled on with Clinton hate.

    ETA: Sanders was an ass for not releasing his tax returns and the stupid press did not push him hard enough on this.

    ReplyReply
  44. 44
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    The information in her tax returns was that she gave speeches to multiple industry groups, including but not only a few Wall Street firms, and that turned into “Hillary Gave Secret Speeches To Wall Street!”

    And Wilmer’s army of morons believed it.

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  45. 45
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Tenar Arha:
    With similar initials.

    ReplyReply
  46. 46
    janesays says:

    Have to give a shout out to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s Tony Messenger, who won the award for commentary on his series of stories exposing the injustices of Missouri courts targeting poor people by imprisoning them for inability to pay exorbitant fines for misdemeanor crimes, effectively creating debtor’s prisons.

    ReplyReply

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