President Donald Trump has finally announced the “winners” of his much-heralded “fake news” awards. Anyone who has followed Trump’s Twitter feed will be entirely unsurprised to find that the president used the so-called awards to attack CNN, ABC, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. Trump released the results of his fake news awards in a blog post on the GOP website yesterday and managed to crash the site for some time.
The GOP blog post began by claiming that 90 percent of news stories about President Trump show him in a negative light, and by claiming that “2017 was a year of unrelenting bias, unfair news coverage, and even downright fake news.” To be fair, Trump is correct in his claims that most of his news coverage is negative. NBC News reported that analysis by the Pew Research Center showed that in the early days of Trump’s presidency 62 percent of news stories were negative, while only five percent were positive.
The figures are even worse when Trump’s coverage for the final quarter of 2017 is analyzed. According to the Washington Times, research by Conservative news watchdog, the Media Research Center, found that 90 percent of press coverage showed Trump in a negative light.
Interestingly, the GOP blog post highlights stories by Fox News an outlet that President Trump seems to regard as one of the few media outlets that can be trusted to report the truth. As reported by AOL, Fox News topped a poll asking which outlets were guilty of spreading misinformation.
President Trump’s News Coverage May Be Negative, But Does That Make It Fake?
As reported by the Inquisitr yesterday, Republican Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain both used President Trump’s “fake news awards” to launch scathing attacks on the president. At the root of both attacks was Trump’s tweets calling sections of the news media “enemies of the people.” This is a phrase coined by Russian dictator Joseph Stalin, who used it to justify sending his critics and political opponents to labor camps where over 800,000 of them perished.
NBC News claims that the use of such language by President Trump should frighten us. The article, written by Nina Khrushcheva who is the great-granddaughter of former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, points out President Trump’s attacks on the media may amount to a form of state censorship. Trump, she claims, undermines an important cornerstone of our democracy when he brands any criticism as “fake news.”
The Washington Post is even more forthright in its attack on President Trump over his fake news awards. They brand Trump as “cretinous” and say the awards are “about as crazy and idiotic as you’d expect from this president.” The Post goes on to claim that these “awards” simply prove that Trump has “already lost his war on the media.”
They argue that Trump’s attacks on the media are counterproductive because they simply generate more negative coverage. Trump, they argue, has removed the presumption that the media accept that politicians are telling the truth unless there is credible evidence to the contrary. Trump’s attacks on media outlets, and on individual journalists, merely encourages those people to dig deeper, and of course, it builds a personal enmity towards the president.
As reported by the Independent we even saw Trump kick CNN reporter Jim Acosta out of the Oval Office for asking questions related to allegations that President Trump is a racist. After being treated this way, it’s difficult to imagine that Acosta will suddenly flip to reporting positively on President Trump.
Unsurprisingly, a glance at today’s headlines shows that the vast majority of media outlets are fiercely critical of President Trump’s “fake news awards.” As reported by the Guardian, even members of his own party are critical of Trump’s attacks on the media, the “fake news awards,” they claim, “marked a bizarre spectacle even by the standards of this impulsive president.”
The conclusion reached by almost all media outlets is that press coverage of President Trump is overwhelmingly negative, but that does not mean the stories are “fake news.”