On ‘Fake News Awards’

If you keep up with Donald Trump’s Twitter at all, you may have seen that today he published his “highly anticipated” Fake News Awards.

Trump has been highly critical of ‘Fake News’ throughout his presidency, claiming the press to be the enemy of the American people. The link Trump posted led to a malfunctioning page on the Republican National Committee website because of the attention to received. The page was functioning in less than an hour, and included 11 nominations of specific news stories and reporters, followed by a list of Trump’s accomplishments. Screen Shot 2018-01-18 at 12.35.30 AM Trump first announced the Fake News Awards at the beginning of the year planning to hold them on January 8, but later pushed that date to January 17. It’s worth noting that each of the 11 stories Trump selected were corrected shortly after their publication.

 

The “winners” of the Fake News Awards were CNN with four mentions; The New York Times with two; ABC, The Washington Post, Time and Newsweek each with one mention.

The spectacle has received considerable backlash. Two Republican senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, condemned the anti-press attacks. “The phrase ‘fake news’ – granted legitimacy by an American president – is being used by autocrats to silence reporters, undermine political opponents, stave off media scrutiny and mislead citizens,” Mccain said.

“An American president who cannot take criticism — who must constantly deflect and distort and distract — who must find someone else to blame — is charting a very dangerous path,” says Flake.

Trump has made a number of attacks on the the press, threatening to change libel lies to easier punish publishers of what he considers fake news. Trump uses the term “fake news” to address nearly any story that frames him in a negative light, offering a frightening subtext to the proposition.

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