It's dangerous to read too much political meaning into a single event, but the Pulitzer Prize awarded to Joseph Rago for editorial writing could be the exception. Rago, you see, writes for The Wall Street Journal, and his unsigned pieces were devastating critiques of ObamaCare.
At a time when too many journalistic watchdogs turned ino lap dogs for President Obama's health-care takeover, Rago patiently deconstructed the sweeping law and diligently tracked how early results matched promises. In a typical passage, he concluded that "ObamaCare was sold using the language of choice and competition, but it is actually reducing both."
He correctly predicted that the mandate for individuals to purchase insurance would face serious constitutional challenges, and called threats to exclude insurers from government exchanges if they raised prices "political thuggery."
The surprise is not that Rago, whom I've never met, even though The Post and Journal are corporate siblings, won the top prize. It's that he won precisely because of what the Pulitzer board called his "well-crafted, against-the-grain editorials challenging the health-care reform advocated by President Obama."
Against-the-grain they were, if the grain is measured by the leftist tilt of most major news organizations. Bully for the Pulitzer judges who recognized that, in this case at least, the best journalism moved in the other direction.
And the stupid:
Holy guilt by association, Batman.
If a fictional character in a piece of literature from an author you admire commits some acts that would likely result in a felony conviction, does that mean you’re a proponent of felonious acts? That’s the deductive logic David Cay Johnston, the 2001 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for beat reporting, displayed on MSNBC’s “The ED Show” Monday night.
In a segment about Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposal to reduce the deficit, which includes simplifying the tax code and eliminating deductions to lower overall rates, Johnston called in to question Ryan’s legitimacy, as he’s a fan of Ayn Rand. And according to Johnston, in Rand’s book, “The Fountainhead,” the fictional character Howard Roark blows up a building, and that means people should evaluate the possibility Ryan is a proponent of blowing up buildings.