In November, President Trump proposed via Twitter “a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me).” He said, “They are all bad. Winner to receive the FAKE NEWS TROPHY!”
Trump’s biased decision to leave Fox out of the running is hypocritical considering he planned to highlight fake stories among the popular news outlets – but I digress.
Here we are months later, and the “Highly Anticipated 2017 Fake News Awards” have come and gone, all without the coveted “FAKE NEWS TROPHY.”
The “Fake News Awards,” published on the GOP website, were less of an awards show and more of a right-leaning BuzzFeed-esque top-10 list, complete with a special bonus award at the end.
The New York Times, ABC, CNN, Time, The Washington Post and Newsweek were the recipients of the 10 main awards.
The first “award” was given to Paul Krugman, Pulitzer Prize-winning economist and columnist for The New York Times for stating, “the economy would never recover” after Trump’s election.
The key word here is “columnist.”
At no point did Krugman or The Times claim his opinion was news. What’s more, Krugman retracted his prediction within days, writing, “It’s at least possible that bigger budget deficits will, if anything, strengthen the economy briefly.”
Also included in the “awards” were three tweets
– not official news reports, but short social media posts made by news reporters. All three tweets were corrected in a matter of minutes.
One standout tweet contained a video that “CNN FALSELY edited … to make it appear President Trump defiantly overfed fish during a visit with the Japanese Prime Minister.”
Trump struggled so hard to find instances of “Fake News” in the mainstream media that he had to scrape the bottom of the barrel with a “news” story about overfeeding fish.
Finally, the 11th award was given to anyone who suggested “RUSSIA COLLUSION,” which Trump claimed to be “the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people.” Maybe it is, but we’ll find out after the ongoing and in-depth investigations separate fact from fiction.
Trump claims the mainstream news outlets hate him – except for Fox of course, an outlet which may just be even more delusional than the president himself. I don’t necessarily think the hate he perceives is there.
Sure, every news organization has its bias, but rarely does that bias blind them to the point of falsely reporting stories about the current president.
What Trump clearly wants is respect. He fails to realize that, when objective, negative press does not equal disrespect.
Does he deserve his idea of respect? No, it’s the press’ job to be objective. If that objectivity happens to paint him in a negative light, so be it. It isn’t disrespect just because it hurts his feelings.
Let’s not forget that Trump banned BBC, CNN and The Guardian from a press conference last year.
If Trump wants these news networks and publications to respect him, he must first respect them and their First Amendment rights.
If Trump wants respect, a good idea would be to stop calling news reporters and organizations infantile nicknames such as “Crazy” Jim Acosta, “Sleepy Eyes” Chuck Todd, “Dumb as a Rock” Mika Brzezinski, “Psycho” Joe Scarborough and The “Failing” New York Times.
In my eyes, Trump’s “Fake News Awards” has done nothing but prove that he has something to hide. By taking the time to list 11 mostly benign “fake news” stories, he’s attempting to distract us from something bigger. This wouldn’t be a first for him and will only be a surprise to the 37 percent of people who actually approve of him.