Trump reveals ‘Fake News Awards,’ website crashes
Trump also tweeted that there are “great reporters” whom he respects. He did not name any of those journalists, though, unlike the treatment dished out to the “Fake News” awardees.
Despite some very corrupt and dishonest media coverage, there are many great reporters I respect and lots of GOOD NEWS for the American people to be proud of!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2018
A blog titled “The Highly-Anticipated 2017 Fake News Awards” on the official Republican Party website shows the top winner of Trump’s fake news accolades to be New York Times columinist and economist Paul Krugman, who claimed on Election Day 2016 that the “economy would never recover” from Trump’s “historic, landslide victory,” according to a copy of the GOP blog archived by the nonprofit Internet Archive.
Second place went to ABC News' Brian Ross, whose reporting cited an anonymous source claiming that an associate of Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn was going to testify that Trump “directed him to make contact with the Russians” while being a presidential candidate. Ross, however, corrected his story to say that Trump was president-elect at the time, only after crashing the stock market.
CNN scooped third place. Without mentioning CNN congressional correspondent Manu Raju by name, the award refers to a false report that Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., received advanced exclusive access to documents published by Wikileaks via email. Raju corrected it once he discovered that his anonymous source got the date of the email wrong, but not before several other news networks made the exact same error, also citing anonymous sources.
The so-called awards went on to list seven other inaccurate stories about Trump that were later corrected, from Trump removing a Martin Luther King, Jr. bust from the Oval Office, to Polish First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda not shaking his hand, to false news of the Trump administration hiding a climate change report.
The eleventh slot awarded no particular outlet or journalist. It simply read: “In Trump’s words, '‘RUSSIA COLLUSION!’ Russian collusion is perhaps the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people. THERE IS NO COLLUSION!'”
Trump's announcement coincided with an event at the Newseum in Washington, DC, where White House correspondents Jim Acosta of CNN, John Roberts of Fox News and April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks discussed “Journalism in the Trump Era: Assessing Press Freedom in the United States.” Trump was heavily criticized during the DC forum for going too far during his campaign, and, as president, for routinely condemning outlets he deemed “fake news media.”
The New York Times was quick to point out their inclusion on Trump’s award list while tweeting out a link to one of their articles recapping the president’s online event.
“And the FAKE NEWS winners are …,” CNN, The New York Times, ABC, The Washington Post, Time and Newsweek. https://t.co/BOuD4aqTmp— NYT Business (@nytimesbusiness) January 18, 2018
New York Times reporter Dan Barry jokingly tweeted, after Trump named the winners, that a party would follow the president’s announcements.
There’s a Fake News Awards after-party at Tracks Bar in Penn Station. No one from Vanity Fair is invited. Bring cash.— Dan Barry (@DanBarryNYT) January 18, 2018
The Washington Post, which took fifth place in Trump’s awards for reporter Dave Weigel tweeting false information about the size of Trump’s crowd at a rally last month, ran an article that posed the question: “Does it really count if the news organization admits error?”
Multiple mainstream outlets preemptively blasted Trump’s plan for the fake news awards. A headline from Politico on Wednesday said Trump had “little to gain” from them. Meanwhile, the Washington Post predicted the awards would be “a huge flop.”ABC News stated that under Trump, “fake news” has gone from an easy applause line to a license to create entirely new realities.