Editorial cartooning winner Mike Luckovich of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution won for "simple but piercing" cartoons like Bush and Cheney saying, "we've turned the corner" in Iraq -- from "Incompetence" to "Fantasy," and another with Bush telling Daffy Duck he's doing a "heckuva job" with bird-flu planning. One had Cheney writing Virginia that yes, there is a Santa Claus, and she's an "unpatriotic, @#$!$* liar for questioning it!"
Another knee-slapper cartoon pictured the American bus being tail-down in the water with all the whites in the top of the bus breathing air, and the "back of the bus" under water, full of drowning blacks. Socially liberal sketches mocking the Catholic Church and "intelligent design" advocates were also in the packet of honored cartoons. Not one mocked a Democrat.
Perhaps the most audacious award for conservative-bashing-over-merit is the Criticism prize for Washington Post fashion writer Robin Givhan, who tried to turn heart patient Dick Cheney's wearing a parka to an Auschwitz ceremony into an international incident. She also demeaned the family outfits of Supreme Court nominee John Roberts when his nomination was announced. "His wife and children stood before the cameras, groomed and glossy in pastel hues -- like a trio of Easter eggs, a handful of Jelly Bellies, three little Necco wafers." Little wafers? If the Roberts family were not white, that line would have started a major ruckus over "dehumanizing" portrayals.
Meanwhile, when it came to assessing Saddam Hussein's courtroom suits, she glossed right over the 148 deaths he admitted and talked about how he was in danger of looking "jaunty and rakish" like Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin, a Las Vegas lounge act. There's a great word for this kind of politicized fashion criticism: shallow. It doesn't deserve prizes. It deserves to be fish wrap.
The Pulitzer judges are not measuring the degree of talent in the journalistic means, but only the political ends they accomplish. Bush-haters are still trying to ride the NSA-surveillance story to the impeachment of the president they despise. After years like these, Americans shouldn't see the Pulitzer Prizes as awards for merit. They should be seen as merely the media's endorsements of fashionable left-wing political causes and outcomes, where the rightness of the stories matters less than the rightness of the target selection.