You remember the New York Times piece that portended to scrutinize Apple’s labor practices in China? The one that featured a metic buttload of unsourced quotes and passed it off as legitimate journalism? The chilling exposé that was launched in no small part by lying fraud Mike Daisey’s one man show “Slanderous Bullshit I Made Up About Apple So I Could Make Money Off of Steve Jobs’s Name”? The Times even thought enough about Daisey’s work that they gave him an op-ed a week after Jobs’s death to bitch about his crappy legacy, which was as grossly inaccurate as it was classy.
(In defense of the Times, they did retract a whole paragraph of Daisey’s lies after This American Life – real journalists that ask tough questions – exposed him for the dishonest charlatan he is. They did however, manage to preserve other unsourced allegations like “Foxconn, a firm made infamous for…widespread beatings”. I guess the Times thought it would be better than a 404 page.)
The Pulitzer Prize committee has just proven that not only will that kind of reporting sell you tons of copy, it will also get you some (formerly) legitimate accolades. Your 2013 winner in the category of “Explanatory Reporting”: the New York Times staffers contributing to the “exposé” on Apple’s supply chain in China. You can see the announcement here.
Judging by the Pulitzer Board’s taste in journalism – which is as out of touch as their Netscape Navigator 1.0-compatable website – it’s safe to say that the Pulitzer has become as relevant as the Time Person of the Year.