Trump Calls For Crowning King of Fake News

President Donald Trump was not done bashing the news media with the online release of his Fake News awards Wednesday (Jan. 17). Now he wants his base to pick the "King of Fake News," which will presumably necessitate yet another online unveiling.

In an e-mail to supporters Thursday, the President--through his campaign fund-raising committee and the Republican National Committee--said that now that he had picked "just' 11 of the "very worst" of the "biased, absurd, and downright FAKE news stories the media wrote about us in 2017," he wanted them to crown the King of Fake News of 2017.

The Fake News awards list was actually a list of mistakes, serious and less so, that the media had made and subsequently--and in some cases, quickly--corrected.

The President offered up 14 candidates from which to choose (plus an "other" category for write-in candidates). The nominees were: ABC, Associated Press, Buzzfeed, CBS, CNN, Fox News, The Huffington Post, MSNBC, NBC, Newsweek, The New York Times, NPR, TIME, The Washington Post.

"Despite the president's constant attacks on press freedom," said Dan Shelley, executive director of the Radio Television Digital News Associatoin, "newsrooms in all 50 states and the District of Columbia are serving the public every single day by uncovering corruption and shining a light on problems that would otherwise go unnoticed. Much of this responsible journalism serves as a catalyst for positive change."

"Trump’s awards are newsworthy for their attack on the press, but cast further doubt on our collective capacity to discuss solutions to a specific form of misinformation, while further exacerbating the climate of confusion and distrust in journalism," said Daniel Funke of The Poynter Institute of the Fake News awards.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.