Putting to rest confusion about whether he would go through with it or not, President Donald Trump delighted his fans and surprised his critics Wednesday night when he published the winners of the 2018 "Fake News Awards."
And the FAKE NEWS winners are...https://t.co/59G6x2f7fD— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2018
Ironically, Trump literally broke the internet as the site listing the winners crashed almost immediately after the president tweeted the link around 8 pm Eastern Time, prompting sniggers from journalists who were eagerly awaiting the announcement...
Great stuff. pic.twitter.com/v7grtZ5sJ0— Rob Price (@robaeprice) January 18, 2018
The “awards” are a surprisingly specific recollection of some of the biggest “fake news” stories from Trump’s first year in office. All the usual suspects are there: NBC, the Washington Post and CNN, but it is perhaps not surprising that the winner was none other than the New York Times' Paul Krugman who "claimed on the day of President Trump’s historic, landslide victory that the economy would never recover."
That said, CNN - Trump’s mainstream media arch nemesis - made the list a whopping four times.
Here is how Trump framed the awards:
2017 was a year of unrelenting bias, unfair news coverage, and even downright fake news. Studies have shown that over 90% of the media’s coverage of President Trump is negative. Below are the winners of the 2017 Fake News Awards.
And the winners of the 2017 Fake News Awards.
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.
.@DaveWeigel @WashingtonPost put out a phony photo of an empty arena hours before I arrived @ the venue, w/ thousands of people outside, on their way in. Real photos now shown as I spoke. Packed house, many people unable to get in. Demand apology & retraction from FAKE NEWS WaPo! pic.twitter.com/XAblFGh1ob— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 9, 2017
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.
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!
Well, now that collusion with Russia is proving to be a total hoax and the only collusion is with Hillary Clinton and the FBI/Russia, the Fake News Media (Mainstream) and this phony new book are hitting out at every new front imaginable. They should try winning an election. Sad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2018
While the media spent 90% of the time focused on negative coverage or fake news, the President has been getting results:
1. The economy has created nearly 2 million jobs and gained over $8 trillion in wealth since the President’s inauguration.
2. African Americans and Hispanics are enjoying the lowest unemployment rate in recorded history.
3. The President signed historic tax cuts and relief for hardworking Americans not seen since President Reagan.
4. President Trump’s plan to cut regulations has exceeded “2 out for every 1 in” mandate, issuing 22 deregulatory actions for every one new regulatory action.
5. The President has unleashed an American energy boom by ending Obama-era regulations, approving the Keystone pipeline, auctioning off millions of new acres for energy exploration, and opening up ANWR.
6. ISIS is in retreat, having been crushed in Iraq and Syria.
7. President Trump followed through on his promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel and instructed the State Department to begin to relocate the Embassy.
8. With President Trump’s encouragement, more member nations are paying their fair share for the common defense in the NATO alliance.
9. Signed the Veterans Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act to allow senior officials in the VA to fire failing employees and establishes safeguards to protect whistleblowers.
10. President Trump kept his promise and appointed Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Trump had initially promised to hand out the awards on Jan. 8, before postponing it to Wednesday, as the New York Times pointed out in a story - published less than an hour before Trump’s announcement - where it questioned whether Trump would actually go through with it. Trump's staff did seemingly everything in their power to foster this impression: There was no mention of the awards on the president’s official schedule, and Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders repeatedly ducked questions about the awards.
Indeed, America’s late-night talk shows delighted in mocking the awards, with several shows waging an awards “campaign.” The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” bought a billboard in Times Square. From the beginning, the awards were the sort of Trumpian production that seemed easy to mock but difficult to ignore. Members of the news media joked about the speeches they would prepare, the tuxedos and gowns they would fetch. It would be an honor, they said, just to be nominated.
Here, it seemed, was the opéra bouffe climax of Mr. Trump’s campaign against the media, a bizarro-world spectacle that both encapsulated and parodied the president’s animus toward a major democratic institution.
Late-night comedy shows created satirical Emmys-style advertising campaigns to snag what some referred to as a coveted "Fakey."
"The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" bought a billboard in Times Square, nominating itself in categories like "Least Breitbarty" and "Corruptest Fakeness." Jimmy Kimmel, who has emerged as a Trump bête noire, called it "the Stupid People’s Choice Awards."
Some raised questions about whether the awards would present an ethical issue for White House aides, with some experts arguing that the event would breach a ban on government officials using their office to explicitly promote or deride private organizations. Although, at the end of the day, it's Trump after all, and the president will do whatever the president feels like doing.