United States President Donald Trump has fulfilled his promise to hold the first ever Fake News Awards. The awards were published on the GOP’s main website and contained 11 winners. The media outlets that receive multiple awards were the New York Times (2) and CNN (4) who have arguably been the highest profile news organizations to campaign against the Trump Presidency.
The fake news items included in the awards were doomsday predictions that a Trump Presidency would destroy the economy, that Trump made diplomatic blunders while on overseas trips and one by Time Magazine that even claimed he removed a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Oval Office.
The mainstream as a collective received an award over their constant promotion of Trump-Russia collusion conspiracy. Despite managing to have a White House Special Counsel appointed to investigative connections between the Trump campaign and agents of the Russian government it has still not come up with a shred of evidence that the Trump campaign assisted Russia spread disinformation about their opponents.
Following the listing of the awards were a list of Trump’s achievements in the first year of his Presidency which included that the economy has added 2 million jobs, unemployment has dropped for Hispanics and African-Americans, Trump’s deregulation agenda has resulted in 22 regulatory actions being repealed for every new regulatory action created, the recently passed tax cuts, a boom in domestic energy production and ISIS being crushed in Iraq and Syria.
If one consumed the news and commentary of the mainstream media you would be led to believe the United States is falling apart and that the federal government is entirely dysfunctional. Meanwhile life in middle America has actually been improving with most citizens just getting on to live their lives.
The media is quick to accuse Trump of overreacting to criticism but it seems the people who really can’t handle being criticized are the mainstream media. Rather than choosing to take the time to reflect on their failings this past year they have accused Trump of attempting to censor the press and threatening the First Amendment.
Probably the most outrageous comment came from Trump’s own side with outgoing Republican Senator from Arizona Jeff Flake comparing Trump’s critique of the press to that of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin who murdered 25 million of his own people during his thirty year reign. This was justified because they both referred to the press as the “enemy of the people”.
It would appear that the mainstream media aren’t used to a President fighting back against them and who does not give them the respect they think they deserve. Being critical of the press is the right of any citizen, that is also part of free speech. The press should never be above criticism and if they are appearing to abuse their position of power to take down someone they don’t like by any means necessary including spreading fake news that deserves to be called out.
The only real evidence that anyone could point to of Trump actually wanting to censor a news organization is when he once said at a campaign rally in an off the cuff remark he wanted to reform the nation’s libel laws to make it easier to sue news organizations, he never followed through on this proposal or mentioned it again.
There is also Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen who is suing BuzzFeed over their publication of the unverified intelligence dossier in early 2017 that claimed Trump was being blackmailed by the Russian Government. However many would state that the publishing of unsubstantiated claims that you’re engaged in a conspiracy against the US Government is grounds to sue and that Trump of course does not control what legal action his personal lawyer may take.
CNN and the New York Times are still free to report and comment on the Trump Administration how they please. The worst that has happened to them is that Trump has called them fake and failing news, surely journalists who were told are capable of uncovering conspiracies and scandals that can involve receiving death threats can handle a few mean words on twitter.
The Fake News Awards were a timely reminder to us all just how much the standing of the mainstream media has fallen in the past year and it is entirely of their own making.
The Unshackled in the next few days will be publishing its own award for fake news site of the year as part of our annual Unshackler Awards