Reaction to the so called “Fake News Awards”

John Bozick, Web Editor

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump announced his intention to recognize what he called “The Fake News Awards”, essentially an award ceremony going to media outlets Trump believes are dishonest, corrupt and fake. Yet, after postponing his award show another week, the president’s presentation of the much anticipated award ceremony turned out to be nothing more than a malfunctioning post on the GOP Website.

The link tweeted by Trump originally gave readers an error message and refused to load, the site was later reachable, looking more like a press release than an award ceremony.

The very first “dishonest” story on the list was not even an actual story. Instead, it was a claim by New York Times reporter Paul Krugman in which he said the market would never recover following Trump’s victory in 2016. While the stock market is on the rise, calling a reporter’s assumption about the market following the win by a volatile candidate is not really “fake news”.

Other stories featured were a report about the Polish Prime Minister not shaking the president’s hand while on a visit to Poland and a report about Wikileaks papers being seen by Donald Trump Jr. and his father.

The very last award in the post attacked Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation saying, “And last, but not least: ‘RUSSIA COLLUSION!’ Russian collusion is perhaps the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people. THERE IS NO COLLUSION!”

The response to the awards drew criticism from Democrats, Republicans and journalists alike, many of whom found the move unprofessional and in poor taste.

Former Press Secretary, and republican, Alex Conant responded to the GOP post by tweeting, “10 years ago I was press secretary for @GOP. Lots of good people working there today. I’m working hard to help them elect Republicans in 2018. But these tactics by @realDonaldTrump are not helpful to anybody except Chuck & Nancy.”

Seattle Times reporter Chris Rosenberg responded to the awards stating, “Worth nothing that most of the 11 recipients of the Fake News Awards issued corrections or faced consequences for inaccurate reporting. That’s how journalism works.”

The American Civil Liberties Union, well known for its legal cases defending the free press, called the awards “the latest in a long list of attacks against our First Amendment’s freedom of the press” and provided a link to every single attack by the president that they reported.

It’s worth noting too that journalism is not always perfect journalists are human, mistakes are made and corrections are run. Just because an individual receives negative coverage by the press does not mean that the news being reported is fake news, often times it is the truth that many need to come to terms with.

Instead of blatantly yelling that everything is “fake news”, perhaps Trump could dispute these stories by providing facts that he believes could prove them to be false, but then again he would first need to stop watching  Sean Hannity in order to do that.