04/17/2012 12:39 pm ET

Associated Press Pulitzer Bashed By New York Post For NYPD 'Hit-Job' Muslim Spying Coverage

The New York Post came out lashing The Associated Press for their Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the NYPD's controversial Muslim surveillance program, criticizing the AP for their "ill-gotten prize that actually says more about mainstream journalism than about the NYPD." The editorial defiantly stated:

Surprise, surprise: The Associated Press yesterday picked up a Pulitzer for its year-long, non-stop hit-job on the NYPD’s counterterrorism efforts. The series was a naked bid to appeal to the judges’ PC sensibilities.

Monday's investigative journalism win for the AP awarded Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Eileen Sullivan and Chris Hawley for shedding light on the NYPD's widespread secret initiative that spied on innocent Muslims in the city, neighboring states, and throughout several college campuses.

As the Pulitzer committee noted, the AP's series led to multiple congressional hearings inquiring NYPD conduct and inspiring debate over the legality of the department's tactics.

In March, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly insisted the NYPD was "under attack" from AP reporters and even suggested the coverage was wrongfully "spinning" the surveillance program as spying.

Yet, many advocates and politicians, including Attorney General Eric Holder, disagree. Holder said he was disturbed by the reports and announced the federal Justice Department was reviewing the conduct.

Similarly, New York Times editors denounced Mayor Bloomberg's continued defense of the police department saying the mayor, "has reacted in the worst possible way -- with disdain -- to those raising legitimate questions about the surveillance program." Bloomberg's justification of the surveillance program as legal and even appropriate, also sparked an angry letter from ten House Democrats for his "underhanded and unprofessional" response.

For more 2012 Pulitzer Prize winners:

Pulitzer Prizes 2012