Matthew Holt

ProPublica’s Pulitzer piss-take

In a decade when there are countless really, really important issues to investigate in health care, ProPublica took more than $400,000 and spent it on a rehash of a well known story. The story was about a completely exceptional circumstance that will likely never happen again. The original criminal investigation against the alleged perpetrator of the “crime” was abandoned. And the big important result that this new investigation caused in our health care system? Nothing.

This was a complete waste of resources in an era when very few are available to investigate the major issues in our health care system which cause so many problems for so many people. Could ProPublica really not think of any other major investigative health care story to pursue? Like one that impacts millions of people? They could have asked me for a few suggestions. Instead they went looking for something that was purely sensationalist, akin to the National Enquirer chasing down Tiger Woods.

And now whoever awards Pulitzer prizes has decided that this is the best investigative reporting of any kind done last year. Pathetic.

I repeat–where the hell is Lisa Girion‘s Pulitzer?

Categories: Matthew Holt

Tagged as:

6 replies »

  1. You are right on the money.
    The NY TIMES/Propublica story had one major new disclosure, which was the apparent admission by Dr. Ewing Cook that he’d upped the dose of morphine for an elderly patient there. That was quite significant, but it’s hard to see how it was Pulitzer worthy. Especially since it didn’t go anywhere or have any impact.

  2. The Pulitzer prize committee is comprised of judges who work at major newspapers who want to work at the New York Times. Each year, they dutifully award three prizes to the Times, two to the Wall Street Journal, one to one of the regional big papers like the L.A. Times or Chicago Tribune and one to some small paper in podunk to honor the industry’s small town roots. They also have inaugurated an online prize. So ProPublica, run by a former WSJ editor, gets a prize for a story written in collaboration with the Times. A three-fer. The awards have nothing to do with journalistic quality or relative importance of the stories. Editorial prize-mongering (in-depth investigations of relatively insignificant topics) and behind-the-scenes lobbying are the norm.

  3. “I repeat–where the hell is Lisa Girion’s Pulitzer?”
    Maybe it is buried under the stack of corrections she has sitting on her desk?
    LAT writers compete for Oscars and Academy Awards anyways not Pulitzers

  4. I wonder how many Americans get your pun Matthew. In US English I think your headline probably translates a little differently.

  5. > Instead they went looking for something that was
    > purely sensationalist, akin to the National Enquirer
    > chasing down Tiger Woods.
    Well, the prize WAS established by Joseph Pulitzer. Perhaps the prize committee are in the throes of their own “yellow sins”. One hopes they repent.
    Or perhaps Girion’s publisher didn’t enter her story and send in the $50. Pity. Maybe THCB should start nominating healthcare stories. Boy, would that ever be a coup…