One problem: the Pulitzer Prize website actually lists the people and newspapers who were nominated in 2004, 2005 and 2006, and Mr. Lipscomb's name appears...nowhere. [link via Pamela Leavey] In fact, if you search the Pulitzer archives, not only has Thomas Lipscomb never been a nominated finalist, no one with that last name has been so honored, nor was anyone else for "reporting on Kerry during the 2004 election". According to the website:
Nominated Finalists are selected by the Nominating Juries for each category as finalists in the competition. The Pulitzer Prize Board generally selects the Pulitzer Prize Winners from the three nominated finalists in each category. The names of nominated finalists have been announced only since 1980. 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.OK, so maybe Lipscomb was an "entrant" for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize. To be an entrant, you have to fill out the entry form, and anyone who has published something in a daily newspaper is eligible. Although "many newspapers prefer to submit entries of particular staff members or achievements," that doesn't matter, since the nomination can be "made by newspaper readers or an interested individual." For example, the brilliant writer who penned this Op-Ed piece for the L.A. Times last October, on the YBK problem, could have feasted on the reflected glory of the most prestigious prize in American letters, had he simply sat down and taken five minutes to fill out the application, and sent it out with the warmest regards to the Nominating Jury. And, best of all,
So I suppose it would be like Jennifer Lopez claiming she was "nominated" for an Oscar for her work in Gigli. Her name wasn't one of the five contenders rattled off on the last Sunday in February, but I'm sure someone (her publicist?) voted for her. It's a neat, harmless way of building up your resume, in much the same way that Tookie Williams was a Nobel Peace Prize "nominee" (actually, it is even less impressive than those two examples, since the Oscar and the Nobel have closed nomination processes). What it has to do with the truth, however, is anyone's guess.
UPDATE: Apparently the Pulitzer nomination claim is an ongoing part of Lipscomb's reputation. Both the U.S. News & World Report and columnist Liz Smith have cited his "nomination" in recent articles about his latest bit of investigative reporting, into the alleged tampering of the Zapruder Film.