Pulitzer Rejects Requests to Revoke New York Times, Washington Post Award For Russiagate Reporting

The board for the Pulitzer Prize announced it would not fulfill multiple requests, including from former President Donald Trump, to rescind a joint prize it had given to the New York Times and Washington Post for their “reporting” on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Pulitzer, the most prestigious award in journalism, conducted two “independent reviews” to reaffirm its decision to award the outlets. And that’s despite the Pulitzer-winning articles containing significant factual errors.

RealClearInvestigations documented some of the falsehoods, including a dubiously reported interaction between the Trump campaign and senior Russian intelligence officials:

To take one of the many examples … the Times reported on Feb. 14, 2017, that “Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.” Four months later, then-FBI Director James B. Comey testified to Congress that “in the main,” the Times report “was not true.” Documents declassified in 2020 show that Peter Strzok, the top FBI counterintelligence agent who opened the Trump-Russia probe, had described the article as “misleading and inaccurate.” Strzok wrote: “We are unaware of ANY Trump advisers engaging in conversations with Russian intelligence officials.” The Times has still not addressed these statements in the online version of the article.

What did the “independent reviews” make of these contradictions? We can’t say for certain because the board responded to an inquiry from RealClear to say it would not make its reviews public.

In other words, Pulitzer is sticking to its conviction and won’t have any further conversation about it. The hell with transparency.

Trump released the following statement about the decision:

“The Pulitzer Board has taken away any shred of credibility it had left with its ‘response’ regarding the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting, which was awarded to The New York Times and The Washington Post for blatant fake news,” Trump said in a statement.

“Instead of acting with integrity and providing transparency, the Pulitzer Board is running cover for the biggest reporting failure in modern history: the fake Russia Russia Russia collusion hoax.”

“The truth is that the 2018 Pulitzer Prize was handed out for reporting that merely parroted political disinformation—disinformation that we know was fabricated by foreign operatives and my political opponents,” Trump said.

So, the Pulitzer Prize is of diminished credibility. It’s become an exclusive club that awards only within.

The New York Times and Washington Post are in that club, thus the credence of their reporting shall not be a factor.

The action by the board is further proof that the truth doesn’t matter, especially in media. The truth ought to never interfere with partisan gain. Journalism has devalued the truth. We wrote a column about this development on Tuesday.

There is no accountability for recklessly reporting on the topic of Russiagate. There’s instead a Pulitzer Prize for it.

Keep that in mind, aspiring reporters.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.

3 Comments

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    • Exactly. Either these award recipients got it for intentionally pushing a story to be a lie, or are so bad at their jobs of “investigative journalism” that they got fooled by a hoax. No way to spin this into a positive

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