Trump Unveils Fake News Awards

After delaying the release for almost 10 days, President Donald Trump tweeted the link to his Fake News awards late Wednesday (Jan. 17), but the link was soon broken, instead only leading to the message on an otherwise blank screen: "The site is temporarily offline, we are working to bring it back up. Please try back later."

But the site eventually came back up and the  "winners" included cable net CNN and broadcast network ABC's investigative reporter Brian Ross, as well as newspapers famous for confronting presidential administrations with news they would rather not hear: The Washington Post and New York Times. In fact, the new film, The Post, chronicles the paper's publication of The Pentagon Papers in the face of pushback from the Nixon White House.

"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.

The Washington Postran a fact check on the winners, pointing out that while they were indeed errors, they were subsequently corrected and in some cases resulted in disciplinary actions.

"2017 has been a year of unrelenting bias, unfair news coverage and even downright fake news, the President tweeted in pointing to the result on, but then added:

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

The Daily Show weighed in on the broken link:

BREAKING: #FakeNewsAwards postponed due to Stormy weather.

— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) January 17, 2018

And the winners were:

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.Times report that the Trump administration had hidden a climate-change report
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!"

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.