If there is justice in journalism, there will be no debate whatsover over the next winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary:
The indefatigable Claudia Rosett.
Her work on the U.N. Oil-for-Food scandal has been pioneering, gutsy, and relentless. She has scooped the rest of the laggard MSM time and again. Her Wall Street Journal archive is here.
Based on the Pulitzer committee’s past treatment of another trail-blazing investigative opinion journalist, Rosett has an uphill battle. In 2000, Dorothy Rabinowitz was the obvious choice for the Pulitzer commentary award. Throughout 1999, Rabinowitz had penned a series of fearless pieces exposing bogus child sex-abuse trials across the country. She beat the media establishment, exposed prosecutorial shenanigans, and championed the falsely accused. But the Pulitzer committee completely passed over Rabinowitz’s work and opted for a safer choice–Rabinowitz’s Beltway insider colleague, Paul Gigot.
The next year, the Pulitzer organization apparently thought better of its diss of Rabinowitz and awarded her the 2001 Pulitzer commentary award for her columns, which included follow-ups on the Amirault sex-abuse case. As I recall, there was quite a bit of behind-the-scenes wrangling over Rabinowitz’s award and I believe the Weekly Standard reported on the controversy (if you have access to the story, please send along.)
Like Rabinowitz, Rosett faces a risk-averse group of journalist judges–many of whom represent the same prestigious media organizations that she has consistently scooped with her cutting-edge reportage and analysis on the global scandal of the year.
Will they do right by Rosett or won’t they? Stay tuned. Nominations are underway and the prizes will be announced next spring.