Pee-u press awards

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If Sept. 11 has given journalists opportunity to make fools of themselves, it also has given syndicated columnist Norman Solomon a chance to chide them for buffoonery. Each year Solomon and Jeff Cohen, Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting founder, sift print and broadcast stories and columns to determine who should be awarded a P.U.-litzer prize “for the stinkiest media performances of the year.” A few of News Hits’ favorites:

CNN Chair Walter Isaacson got the “Protecting Viewers from the News” prize for a memo to his staff admonishing, “It seems perverse to focus too much on the casualties of hardship in Afghanistan. You want to make sure that when they see civilians suffering there, it’s in the context of a terrorist attack that caused enormous suffering in the United States.”

Washington Times columnist Thomas Woodrow was runner-up for the “Best Embrace of Terrorist Mindset” award, for writing, “At a bare minimum, tactical nuclear capabilities should be used against the bin Laden camps in the desert of Afghanistan. To do less would be rightly seen by the poisoned minds that orchestrated these attacks as cowardice.”

The “Tortuous Punditry” prize went to Jonathan Alter of Newsweek. Alter wrote, “In this autumn of anger, even a liberal can find his thoughts turning to … torture. OK, not cattle prods or rubber hoses, at least not here in the United States, but something to jump-start the stalled investigation of the greatest crime in American history.” The full list of “winners” is at

Ann Mullen contributed to News Hits, which is edited by Curt Guyette. He can be reached at 313-202-8004 or [email protected]
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