On Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced the winners of his much-hyped “Fake News Awards” through a blog post on the official Republican National Committee website.
For at least an hour after the announcement, the link to the page could not be accessed and kept throwing up a “temporarily offline” message. “The site is temporarily offline, we are working to bring it back up. Please try back later,” the message read.
However, the site did come back up to unveil the winners of the ignominious awards.
And the FAKE NEWS winners are…https://t.co/59G6x2f7fD
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2018
Trump had first spoken of the Fake News Awards in a November tweet last year – what he had then referred to as the “Fake News Trophy.”
What wasn’t clear at the time was, if he really was serious or simply taking a dig at the media as he has been known to do, much too often.
His subsequent tweet on the subject on Jan 2, 2018, however, did make it apparent that the man was actually going ahead with the idea.
This time around he had a different name for the awards, calling it the “Most Dishonest & Corrupt Media Awards of the Year” and wrote that the winners for “dishonesty and bad reporting in various categories from the Fake News Media” would be announced on January 8, at 5 pm.
I will be announcing THE MOST DISHONEST & CORRUPT MEDIA AWARDS OF THE YEAR on Monday at 5:00 o’clock. Subjects will cover Dishonesty & Bad Reporting in various categories from the Fake News Media. Stay tuned!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
On January 7, Trump rescheduled the release date to January 17, citing heightened interest in the awards.
The Fake News Awards, those going to the most corrupt & biased of the Mainstream Media, will be presented to the losers on Wednesday, January 17th, rather than this coming Monday. The interest in, and importance of, these awards is far greater than anyone could have anticipated!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2018
This time he stuck to the schedule and revealed the winners through a post titled, “The Highly-Anticipated 2017 Fake News Awards.”
“2017 was a year of unrelenting bias, unfair news coverage, and even downright fake news. Studies have shown that over 90% of the media’s coverage of President Trump is negative,” read the short introduction.
Here are the 11 winners of President Trump’s “2017 Fake News Awards.”
1. “The New York Times’ Paul Krugman claimed on the day of President Trump’s historic, landslide victory that the economy would never recover.”
2. “ABC News’ Brian Ross CHOKES and sends markets in a downward spiral with false report.”
3. “CNN FALSELY reported that candidate Donald Trump and his son Donald J. Trump, Jr. had access to hacked documents from WikiLeaks.”
4. “TIME FALSELY reported that President Trump removed a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Oval Office.”
5. “Washington Post FALSELY reported the President’s massive sold-out rally in Pensacola, Florida was empty. Dishonest reporter showed picture of empty arena HOURS before crowd started pouring in.”
6. “CNN FALSELY edited a video to make it appear President Trump defiantly overfed fish during a visit with the Japanese prime minister. Japanese prime minister actually led the way with the feeding.”
7. “CNN FALSELY reported about Anthony Scaramucci’s meeting with a Russian, but retracted it due to a “significant breakdown in process.”
8.” Newsweek FALSELY reported that Polish First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda did not shake President Trump’s hand.”
9. “CNN FALSELY reported that former FBI Director James Comey would dispute President Trump’s claim that he was told he is not under investigation.”
10. “The New York Times FALSELY claimed on the front page that the Trump administration had hidden a climate report.”
11. “And last, but not least: “RUSSIA COLLUSION!” Russian collusion is perhaps the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people. THERE IS NO COLLUSION!”
The Wednesday evening announcement of the winners came on a day when Republican Senator Jeff Flake compared Trump to Stalin for his hatred towards the media, saying that Trump’s use of the phrase “enemy of the people,” was malicious. Even Stalin’s reference to the phrase was denounced by Nikita Khrushchev, he said.
“Mr. President, it is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies. It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase “enemy of the people,” that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of “annihilating such individuals” who disagreed with the supreme leader,” said the Arizona senator.
He said it was the “birthright” of the people to question those who were in power and that Americans did not pay “obeisance to the powerful.”
“Mr. President, so powerful is the presidency that the damage done by the sustained attack on the truth will not be confined to the president’s time in office. Here in America, we do not pay obeisance to the powerful — in fact, we question the powerful most ardently — to do so is our birthright and a requirement of our citizenship — and so, we know well that no matter how powerful, no president will ever have dominion over objective reality,” he said.
Politicians, activists and, of course, media representatives used words like “terrifying”, “chilling” and “disgusting” to describe the awards.
Here’s how some of the media personalities reacted.
Fox News Channel’s John Roberts said Trump was even more hostile towards the media than Nixon.
“I have seen various levels of threats around the world; that said, I would posit that this president is more antagonistic to the press than any president I think including Nixon,” he said.
“This is the President of the United States and when you have people not just black, not just white, wondering about comments that you have been making over and over a pattern, I had a right to ask and it’s unfortunate. It’s a sad day when you have to ask a sitting US President if he is a racist,” April Ryan of Urban American Radio Networks said.
CNN’s Jim Acosta said that he himself had been called Fake News; however, he thought that POTUS was the “king of Fake News.”
“He is the king of fake news. He said Barack Obama was not born in this country. He said Mexicans are rapists and criminals,” Acosta said. “He said he lost the election because undocumented people voted by the millions. He said that he had the largest inauguration crowd of all times,” added Acosta.
He went to say that “it’s unfortunate that the president has sunk to that level where he has to go around issuing these kinds of awards. It’s just not what you would think would happen in this country.”
— RT (@RT_com) January 18, 2018