Twitterati goes wild over Trump's 'Fake News Awards'

Claudine Rigal
Janvier 20, 2018

President Trump announced the "winners" of his Fake News Awards today in a typically chaotic manner. Trump tweeted minutes after posting the link to the awards.

McCain also noted that by using and legitimizing the term "fake news", it allows repressive governments in other countries to do the same, making the work for activists in those countries more difficult.

The list of 11 was wrapped with Trump describing the alleged Russian interference with the 2015 elections as "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated". "Studies have shown that over 90% of the media's coverage of President Trump is negative", wrote the website GOP that had published the list.

Included in the list were a NYT's story that claimed the U.S. economy would never recover from a Trump presidency; a Washington Post's story suggesting a Trump rally had been empty and a CNN story claiming that former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci has had improper ties with Russian. After the report caused a brief drop in the stock market, Ross corrected it, saying Trump had actually asked Flynn to initiate the contact after the election, when he was president-elect.

A story by 'CNN' that Donald Trump and his son had access to hacked documents from WikiLeaks was given third position.

The awards dropped hours after a senator from Trump's own Republican party hurled a stinging rebuke at the president, accusing the US leader of undermining the free press with Stalinist language.

Trump will name "the most corrupt & biased of the Mainstream Media" on Wednesday, according to a Jan. 7 tweet, but he appears to have done little preparation for the event - if there even is an event.

The New York Times, the Washington Post, ABC News and CNN were among the "winners" cited by Trump.

Newsweek was called out for falsely reporting that Polish First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda did not shake Trump's hand during his visit to Warsaw in July last year. McCain said Trump's attacks on the media "provided cover for repressive regimes to follow suit".

Trump is emboldening authoritarian leaders around the world by dismissing media coverage of his administration as "fake news", Arizona Republican Jeff Flake said in a Senate floor speech on Wednesday.

Contemporary libel law grows out of a 1964 landmark Supreme Court case, New York Times v. Sullivan, in which the justices ruled that a public figure can win a defamation case only by showing that false and harmful charges against him were made with "actual malice". The news organization was forced to retract the story.

As president, Trump may have set records for the number of dubious statements. This has led to suggestions that the president was surely qualified to recognize false reporting.

The study also revealed that most media coverage of Trump focused on his character traits rather than policy.

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