image

Donald Trump

Trump doles out ‘Fake News Awards’ as Republican senators decry his ‘Stalinist’ attacks on media

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 January, 2018, 1:03pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 January, 2018, 1:03pm

US President Donald Trump announced the recipients of his so-called Fake News Awards, on Wednesday, his latest attack on the press that has drawn objections from within his own party.

In a tweet, announcing “And the FAKE NEWS winners are …” Trump directed readers to the GOP.com website, which is run by the Republican National Committee.

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

Trump, who has singled out individual reporters by name calling for them to be fired over minor mistakes, also posted a tweet saying that he respected some reporters.

“Despite some very corrupt and dishonest media coverage, there are many great reporters I respect and lots of GOOD NEWS for the American people to be proud of!,” Trump wrote a few minutes after posting the initial tweet about the awards.

Trump’s announcement came as two senators from his own party excoriated him for his incessant attacks on the free press.

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.

“It is past time to stop excusing or ignoring or worse, endorsing these attacks on the truth,” Flake said. The president’s tweet in February 2017 that news outlets are “the enemy of the American people” uses words “infamously spoken by Joseph Stalin to describe his enemies,” said the senator, who has been a vocal critic of the president in recent months.

Trump said in a January 7 Twitter message he planned to give out awards Wednesday to media outlets he claims are “the most corrupt & biased.”

In a Washington Post opinion article, Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican, said Trump’s attacks on the news media are harming press freedom around the world.

“Whether Trump knows it or not, these efforts are being closely watched by foreign leaders who are already using his words as cover as they silence and shutter one of the key pillars of democracy,” McCain wrote.

Earlier this month, the Washington Post found that Trump had made more than 2,000 false or misleading claims since taking office.

The “Fake News” list on the GOP.com site gave 10 instances of press errors, including one that was not a factual mistake but rather a bad prediction from a New York Times columnist. Most of the errors resulted in corrections, disciplinary action for the reporters or both. Among them was a mistaken report about the Russia investigation that helped cause the stock market to fall and resulted in a suspension for ABC News reporter Brian Ross.

Earlier this month, the Washington Post found that Trump had made more than 2,000 false or misleading claims since taking office.

Additional reporting by Tribune News Service