Tag Archives: Pulitzer Prize

A Secret Service disgrace. Pulitzer day still excites me. And Tupac Shakur comes back to life (sort of)

Didn’t really read too much about this developing scandal involving the Secret Service and prostitutes in Colombia until Monday, and I have to say the details that are starting to emerge are pretty stunning.
So many questions spring to mind: Did these guys really think no one would find out about this? How, exactly, did men whose entire careers and reputations are based upon secrecy, and no one knowing who they are, think it was a good idea to go out and patronize hookers in a foreign country?

And perhaps the biggest question of all: Didn’t these guys ever see the brilliant movie “In the Line of Fire” (above)? Clint Eastwood, now that’s how a Secret Service agent should act. Great movie if you haven’t seen it.

**Even though I’m not a full-time writer anymore, the day Pulitzer Prizes are announced still excites me a little. Monday was that day this year.

Movies have the Oscars, TV has the Emmys, and we journalists have the Pulitzers, still and all in 2012 the most important award or honor a scribe can achieve.
I’m extremely fortunate to know two people who have won the award, and both were well-deserved, even though both downplay it in conversation (I was horrified when I visited my friend Kristen’s house last December had her framed Pulitzer certificate was on the floor. “We had nowhere to put it when we moved in!” she exclaimed. Lemme tell you, if I had won a Pulitzer, that baby would be hanging from every front door I ever live in. And I’d want it buried with me.)

Anyhow, there were some very interesting developments this year. For the first time ever, two online only publications, Huffington Post and Politico, won Pulitzers. As expected, the fantastic reporting by a 24-year-old named Sara Ganim, on the Penn State sex abuse story, was honored (that’s her after finding out she won).
And a wonderful columnist from Chicago named Mary Schmich won a prize; she writes with heart and compassion and really should be more famous than she is.

Check out this beautiful column on growing up poor that was part of her Pulitzer submission.

**I know this will shock you, but I was never a big fan of Tupac Shakur when he was alive. Never liked rap music, but I acknowledge that he’s a legend since everyone I know who likes rap says that in his prime, there was no one better than ‘Pac. Of course, his prime was cut short when he was murdered in Las Vegas in 1996.
So it had to be all kinds of weird (and cool) to see this the other night, at the Coachella Music Festival in California, when Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg introduced … an incredibly lifelike-looking version of Tupac.

Using some very impressive hologram technology, Dre and Snoop (and some really talented technical people, I’m guessing) brought Tupac back from the grave to sing at the festival.

I don’t really know how this was done, and I don’t like the music. But damn, it’s all kinds of creepy and cool.

Celebrating two extraordinary lives that ended Thursday, Gary Carter and Anthony Shadid. And some awesome winter photos

I was going to continue with Good News Friday like usual today, but the tragic deaths of two wonderful human beings Thursday forced me to shelve that idea. Each of them deserves to be thought about and appreciated today.

The first death that saddened me was that of Gary Carter, the Hall of Fame catcher for the Mets and Expos. Carter was 57, and had been suffering from a brain tumor.
There’s no way to picture Gary Carter without thinking of his smile. It was enormous, room-filling, and so genuine. There might not have been a baseball player alive who enjoyed the game and showed it more than “The Kid.” He was the cornerstone of the 1986 Mets, and a catcher who played the game with verve, passion and a whole lot of skill for his whole career.

He was mocked, in the media and by his peers, for his “good-guy” persona, and he seemed too good to be true (he even wanted to take his wife on road trips, which in baseball circles is kinda like worshipping the devil).

But Carter was the genuine article, a decent man who enjoyed life and played the game the right way. He will be immensely missed. Two fabulous tributes to Carter I read Thursday night were this from SI’s superb Tom Verducci and this story from my buddy Pearlman in the Wall Street Journal.

Here’s video of Carter’s last hit in the major leagues, from September, 1992 with the Expos. The outpouring of love can be felt through the screen…

The second death I mourned Thursday night is a man who was legendary in my former profession as a journalist. To say Anthony Shadid was a foreign correspondent is like calling Einstein an inventor, or Michael Jordan an athlete. For three newspapers over 15 years, most recently the New York Times, Shadid saw the horrors of war up close, reported on them, and then wrote some of the most beautiful prose you can imagine.
So many people in journalism are great reporters. Others are great writers. It’s very, very rare for someone to be both. Shadid went into the worst places in the world and survived, putting names, faces and humanity into the stories of Iraqis, Afghans, and recently, Libyans. Only 43 years old, it is cruelly ironic that after surviving battlefields forever, he died of an asthma attack.

His friend Tyler Hicks, a world-class photographer and with whom Shadid had been kidnapped with last year, carried his body from Syria to safety in Turkey.

Shadid was a giant in the field, and his loss is a great one. Here is a story he wrote to win one of this two Pulitzer Prizes, here is his obituary from the N.Y. Times, and here is a link to some of his other “greatest hits.”

Gary Carter and Anthony Shadid. Two very different men, but both leave an immeasurable hole in the hearts of many.

**And now, a few happy thoughts. I’m on vacation for a week starting today, as the junior high I’m working at closes for mid-winter break (thank you, Presidents Lincoln and Washington for this holiday! The exhausted teachers of America salute you!).

College basketball is getting insanely exciting as it usually does in mid-February; Michigan State got a big win Thursday, my Duke boys pulled another David Copperfield act (seriously, this is the most bizarre Duke team of my lifetime as a fan), and Florida State pulled off another miracle, too. Can’t wait for March Madness.

And here’s a lovely gallery of people skating through the winter. These pictures hopefully will bring a smile to your face, as they did mine. They’re courtesy of Boston.com’s The Big Picture, a site I love and tout frequently on here.