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How many wingnut "journalists" have laid exaggerated claims to Pulitzer Prizes, does anyone know?

Well, Thomas Lipscomb, that pillar of journalistic integrity, has recently been outed as having falsely claimed to be a Pulitzer "nominee" for his 2004 anti-Kerry screeds.

And Carlton Sherwood, the moonie apologist/anti-Kerry film producer, who claims to be a Pulitzer "recipient," is not far behind.  While not quite at Lipscomb's stunning level of falsity, he looks like a serious resume padder all the same.

Tom Lipscomb's mini-biography, which appears at the various websites that publish his articles, until very recently read as follows:

Thomas Lipscomb is an independent investigative reporter who was nominated for a Pulitzer for his reporting on Kerry during the 2004 elections. He is a senior fellow at the Annenberg Center for the Digital Future (USC)

Cached Lipscomb article

Others were happy to jump on the Lipscomb-as -Pulitzer-nominee bandwagon:

U.S. News

The claim seems to have originated from Lipscomb himself, not some over-enthusiastic publisher:

Free Republic

Only you won't find Lipscomb's name on the list of any of the Pulitzer Prize nominees at the Pulitzer website:

Why?  Well, according to that website:

By February 1, the Administrator's office in the Columbia School of Journalism has received the journalism entries -in 2004, typically 1,423. Entries for journalism awards may be submitted by any individual from material appearing in a United States newspaper published daily, Sunday, or at least once a week during the calendar year. (History)

[. . .]

Work that has been submitted for Prize consideration but not chosen as either a nominated finalist or a winner is termed an entry or submission. No information on entrants is provided. (Terminology)

[. . .]

The three finalists in each category are the only entries in the competition that are recognized by the Pulitzer office as nominees.(History)

Eventually people began to take notice:

Democratic Daily

The Idiotarian Savant

Strange Monkey Doll

Freedom's Fire, Brightly Burning

Evidently enough queries were made of Lipscomb's primary online publisher, Real Clear Politics, that the mini-bio was changed last week, to read:

Thomas Lipscomb is an independent investigative reporter whose work was entered for the Pulitzer for investigative reporting in 2005. He is a senior fellow at the Annenberg Center for the Digital Future (USC)

Real Clear Lipscomb bio

At least one other website that publishes his articles made a similar hasty change:

But no public apology or explanation has been forthcoming. Not from Lipscomb, not from the sites that publish his pieces.


Now, for Carlton Sherwood, most recently (in)famous for producing the sleazy "Stolen Honor" flick:

Carlton Sherwood is a distinguished newspaper and TV investigative reporter and the recipient of journalism's highest honors in print and broadcast news, the Pulitzer Prize and George Foster Peabody Award.

Stolen Honor - About the Producer

Sherwood won a Pulitzer Prize for his investigative reporting of a Catholic scandal involving the Pauline Fathers of Doylestown, Pa.


But you won't find Carlton Sherwood's name listed among the Pulitzer Prize winners, either.

The 1980 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service was awarded to Gannett News Service, not Carlton Sherwood.

That's because the Public Service gold medal is always awarded to a newspaper, never to an individual. (Or in this case individuals, as Sherwood was one of a group of reporters who worked on the series.) (Terminology)

Oh and BTW, the Public Service prize is not really given for "investigative reporting."  It is given for:

meritorious public service by a newspaper through the use of its journalistic resources, which may include editorials, cartoons, and photographs, as well as reporting.

Category Definition

While you're at it, look up the 1982 Peabody award won't see Sherwood's name there either, even though he claims to be a "recipient" of that one too. You guessed it, it was the TV station that broadcast a series that he - along with several others - happened to contribute to.

Fraud?  Not outright.  Dishonesty? Misrepresentation?  Resume padding?  Ya think?

Originally posted to matchpoint on Sun Jul 02, 2006 at 01:55 PM PDT.

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