President Donald Trump has been a staunch critic of the media even before he took office. He consistently targeted the independent media calling it as “fake news” and “the enemy of the people.” On Wednesday, Trump took his attack against media to a next-level by unveiling the winners of his highly anticipated “Fake News Awards.”
As one would expect, President Trump announced the list on Twitter with a link to a GOP website which was unable to handle the traffic and crashed within minutes. The winner of President Donald Trump’s “Fake News Awards” included the media houses that are regularly targeted by him.
The recent gimmick by the President has not gone down well even with people in his party. Prior to the release of the list, a Republican Party senator accused Trump of undermining the free press and using Stalinist language. Given the fact that Donald Trump has himself made over 2,000 false or misleading claims, his recently announced awards also need fact-checking.
The New York Times For Paul Krugman Piece [Not Fake News]
Paul Krugman, who is a columnist, had written an opinionated article suggesting that the economy would never recover from Trump’s election win. Apparently, time has proved him wrong as the stock markets have improved under Trump. Was it fake news? Krugman had even retracted his earlier opinion just three days later.
ABC News for Brian Ross’ false report on Flynn [Misleading News]
This one was a serious misreporting by Brian Ross. On the day when Michael Flynn had admitted lying to the FBI and agreed to cooperate in the Russia-collusion investigation, Ross wrongly claimed that Flynn would testify incriminating Trump for directing him to contact the Russians when Trump was still a candidate. The report was later clarified, and Ross stated that he meant President-elect Trump. ABC News also apologized for the error and suspended Ross for four weeks without pay.
CNN claiming Trump and Trump Jr. had access to WikiLeaks’ hacked documents [Misleading News]
CNN ran an exclusive story claiming that Donald Trump and Trump Jr. had access to hacked documents by WikiLeaks. It turned out that the email in question was sent to the Trumps after the documents were publicly available. CNN later accepted the error on their part and updated their initial report.
TIME reported that President Trump removed a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Oval Office. [A Tweet, Not Even News]
While President Donald Trump included this in his “fake news awards,” this was not even news. A reporter had sent out a tweet which was corrected an hour later. Both President and the White House cited this as an example of false reporting. No doubt, the reporter should have double-checked before tweeting, but are tweets really news?
The Winston Churchill bust is back in the Oval Office— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) January 21, 2017
Correction: The MLK bust is still in the Oval Office. It was obscured by an agent and door.— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) January 21, 2017
Washington Post for false images of Trump’s rally in Florida [A Tweet, Not Even News]
Dave Weigel, a Washington Post reporter, tweeted a photo of lesser number of people at Trump’s rally in Florida and even tagged President Trump in the tweet. Donald Trump replied on Twitter clarifying that picture was taken before he arrived. The reporter apologized on Twitter and explained that it was a personal tweet. Again, are tweets news stories?
It was a bad tweet on my personal account, not a story for Washington Post. I deleted it after like 20 minutes. Very fair to call me out.— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) December 9, 2017
Everything I say on Twitter is a joke, except what I say about @swin24. https://t.co/tI7SQnpoN9
CNN’s video of Trump overfeeding fish during a visit with the Japanese prime minister. [Possibly Misleading News]
During Japanese prime minister’s visit, both Trump and Abe stopped to feed the fish in a koi pond at Akasaka Palace, Japan’s State Guest House. Shinzo Abe emptied his box followed by Trump. However, one story by CNN read, “Trump feeds fish, winds up pouring the entire box of food into the koi pond.” However, the reporter also added, “The move got Trump some laughs, and a smile from Abe, who actually appeared to dump out his box of food ahead of Trump.” This could have been due to the order in which video feeds were released to the press.
CNN’s report of Anthony Scaramucci’s meeting with a Russian [Misleading News]
In June 2016, CNN reported that Congress was investigating Anthony Scaramucci, a Trump-backer and hedge-fund manager. This story was again a mistake on the part of the reporters and was a serious blunder. CNN later retracted the story and accepted the resignation of all three reporters involved in the story.
Newsweek’s report of Polish First Lady not shaking hands with Trump [Misleading News]
Newsweek initial piece which was based on the partial clip released read, “Watch Donald Trump handshake rejected by Polish first lady in hilariously awkward exchange.” However, when the entire clip was released, it was clear that Kornhauser-Duda shook hands with Trump’s after shaking hands with Melania. Newsweek later changed the headline to “Watch Poland’s First Lady Pass By President Trump’s First Attempt at a Handshake.” Vanity Fair magazine did run the same story.
CNN’s story on Comey to refute Trump’s claim [Misleading News]
CNN ran a story which claimed that James Comey was expected to refute President Trump’s claim of being informed that he was not under investigation for colluding with Russia. However, later Comey admitted that he had told Trump that FBI was “not investigating him personally.” CNN later changed the article and headline with the correct information.
New York Times Claiming Trump Hid A Climate Report [Misleading News]
New York Times published a climate report and claimed that the report was not made public. The report also added a statement by a government scientist who feared that the report would be suppressed. However, it soon came to light that the climate report was already uploaded on a non-profit internet digital library and was publicly available for about seven months.
Russia Collusion Story
Several media houses have widely reported the Russian involvement in the US 2016 elections. However, the investigations are still underway headed by Special counsel Robert S. Mueller. This will be clear only when the investigation concludes.