In a surprise move, the Pulitzer board has created a new category, increasing the number of annual awards to 22, and awarded it not to an individual, but to a general community.
The new “Excellence in Anonymous Website Commenting” Pulitzer was awarded, en masse, to the nameless individuals who have provided supplementary commentary on FasterSkier.com.
“This is truly a great day,” said FasterSkier editor Topher Sabot. “It is so rewarding to see our vision come to fruition.”
When asked if he was surprised that the award had gone to those posting comments on the site as opposed a member of the staff, Sabot responded “Not at all. The real value of the site is in the comments. I have always known that. The first thing I am going to do is fire Nat Herz. He is completely extraneous now.”
The head of the Pulitzer board, Ronald Schmegalo concurred. “It is unprecedented to create a new Pulitzer category to match a journalistic effort,” Schmegalo said. “But we really had no choice. Sometimes greatness makes itself known in a way that is impossible to ignore.”
And while the certain Pulitzers are awarded to an entire publication, this is the first time such a general group has been honored.
Schemgalo went on to highlight the elements that caught the board’s eye.
“The commenting captures a true piece of Americana. Our society is not about reason or respect. It is not about integrity. The American people want drama. They want daytime talk shows and Fox News. It takes courage for individuals to step forward behind obscure aliases and give the public what they so desperately want.”
According to the official Pulitzer release, insightful commentary and skilled reporting are no longer valued in the new Web 2.0 age of journalism.
“We need to look forward,” said board member Aimee Stanson, Nordic Editor for the Miami Daily Times. “Newspaper is dead. Rational discourse has been rotting in its grave for nearly a decade now. Even websites like FasterSkier are on their way out. It is all about user generated content, what Joe Kick Wax has to say.”
The decision by the board was nearly unanimous, with the only dissenter, William Smalidor of the Springfield Strider, writing that the commenters were held back by some of their own.
“Overall this is an amazing body of work. The quantity, the passion, the total lack of thought – exactly what we were looking for.”
But that was not enough, at least not for the high standards of Mr. Smalidor.
“We can’t be blinded by a few brilliant stars. The massive dust cloud that they must shine through is still there.”
The dust cloud Smalidor is referring too? The commenters who take the wind out of discussions by weighing their words down with facts and well-thought out observations and criticism.
“The problem is the lack of unity. I don’t want to see names. I don’t want to see good ideas. I don’t want to see polite differences of opinion. There is a place for that kind of thing. It is called the past.”
According to Stanson, it was the willingness to look like an absolute idiot in front of thousands of people that swayed her vote.
“One person claimed Kikkan Randall sucked because she ate Subway,” Stanson said. “Unbelievable. No one else has the courage to come out and say something like that. Everyone toes the line, blindly drinking the Kool Aid.”
Most people think that Randall is good. They are obviously mislead by her World Cup victory two years ago, and her World Championship silver medal, Stanson explained.
“But really she is very bad, and it is so obvious that it is all because of Subway. Finally we have someone with the cutting insight and the scathing wit to bring it to our attention. The best thing about that statement is that you can’t tell if it is a poor attempt at satire, or just plain stupid. What brilliance!”
That was just one example of what makes FasterSkier comments so worthy of a Pulitzer.
“FasterSkier is like a halibut,” Schmegalo added. “A flat, bottom dwelling, ocean fish that is extremely tasty if grilled with a lemon ginger marinade. The comments on FasterSkier are the marinade. Without them it is all so fishy.”
The Pulitzer board highlighted the comments on Kris Freeman’s 50km Olympic performance as another example of award-worthy journalism.
Read the official Pulitzer statement, in part:
“While we know absolutely nothing about elite ski racing, and the challenges the athletes face, we the Pulitzer board are struck by how much of a wimp Freeman was for dropping out. The complete lack of investigative reporting by the commenters is a perfect example of what modern Anonymous Website Commenting is all about. The ideal of ignorant mean-spirited opinions, delivered behind an alias, is fully realized here.”
The commenters will be invited to the awards banquet to be held in New York City on April 1st. They will be provided with matching full balaclavas to hide their identities.
When contacted for comment, one of the winners, coolxc213 responded, “The US SUCKS. Sprinting is stupid, USSA is stupid. Why doesn’t anyone listen to MY ideas? This award is cool because I am finally getting the attention I so desperately crave. Look at me. Look at ME!”
He was immediately nominated for a Pulitzer in the newly formed category of “Response to Request For Comment Following Pulitzer Award.”
Topher Sabot is the editor of FasterSkier.