President Trump Releases 'Fake News Awards,' GOP Website Crashes
At 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, President Donald Trump tweeted the winners of his "FAKE NEWS Awards." His tweet directed followers to a page on the Republican Party website (GOP.com), and the page crashed shortly after.
Even so, PJ Media still accessed the award "winners" — and those Trump said were real winners.
Here is the list:
1. The New York Times' Paul Krugman
"The New York Times' Paul Krugman claimed on the day of President Trump's historic, landslide victory that the economy would never recover," the article, written by the GOP team, reported. Trump's victory was not a "landslide." He won 304 votes in the Electoral College to Clinton's 227 votes, and he took key states by razor-thin margins. Clinton won the popular vote 48.2 percent to Trump's 46.1 percent, but Trump still won fair and square, by the rules of the game.
As for the economy, it did not take a hit from Trump's win, so Krugman's prediction was "fake news."
2. ABC News' Brian Ross
"ABC News' Brian Ross CHOKES and sends markets in a downward spiral with false report," the GOP team reported. Ross gave his report on December 1, saying that retired General Michael Flynn would testify that Donald Trump had ordered him to make contact with the Russians about foreign policy while he was still a candidate.
Indeed, the Dow Industrial Average dipped shortly after Ross's report, until it was proven false.
What? CNN in third place? Now, that's "fake news." The network won the bronze trophy for "FALSELY" reporting "that candidate Donald Trump and his son Donald J. Trump, Jr. had access to hacked documents from WikiLeaks."
Indeed, CNN reported that Donald Trump Jr. received an email with links to the WikiLeaks archive from the hack on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) on September 4, 2016 — before WikiLeaks published the emails. In reality, the email was sent on September 14, after the story went public. A well-deserved "fake news" award.
4. Time Magazine
"TIME FALSELY reported that President Trump removed a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Oval Office," GOP staff wrote. The award did not mention Zeke Miller, the Time reporter who wrote the story, even though Trump did mention him by name last January after the false story was published.
5. The Washington Post
As with the Time story, the GOP did not name the reporter in this case. "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."
The Post's Dave Weigel tweeted the photo, and Trump called him out on it last month. Naturally, the president didn't hold himself back in excoriating Weigel: "Real photos now shown as I spoke. Packed house, many people unable to get in. Demand apology & retraction from FAKE NEWS WaPo!"
6. CNN again
"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," the GOP team reported.
Indeed, CNN presented such a video, launching what became derisively known as "Koi-Gate." It revealed more about the media's priorities than about the actual story — hence "fake news."
7. CNN yet again
"CNN FALSELY reported about Anthony Scaramucci's meeting with a Russian, but retracted it due to 'a significant breakdown in process,'" the GOP team noted. Three CNN staffers resigned after the story was retracted in June.
The story cited an anonymous source who said the Senate Intelligence Committee was looking into the chief executive of a $10 billion Russian investment fund who met with Anthony Scaramucci before the inauguration. CNN apologized, and Scaramucci accepted it.
"Newsweek FALSELY reported that Polish First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda did not shake President Trump's hand," the GOP team reported.
The site also showed photographic evidence of Trump shaking the hand of the Polish first lady. After the false report, which came out in July, the Polish president declared his intention to "FIGHT FAKE NEWS" with Trump.
9. CNN (that's 4)
"CNN FALSELY reported that former FBI Director James Comey would dispute President Trump's claim that he was told he was not under investigation," the GOP team reported.
Indeed, in June, CNN had to issue a retraction after Comey's written testimony confirmed Trump was not under investigation.
10. The New York Times
"The New York Times FALSELY claimed on the front page that the Trump administration had hidden a climate report," the award explained. Indeed, in August the country's paper of record reported that Trump's Environmental Protection Agency was hiding a report — when in fact the report was publicly available and published 9 months ago.
The article now sounds hilarious: "One government scientist who worked on the report, and who spoke to The Times on the condition of anonymity, said he and others are concerned it would be suppressed," wrote the Times' Lisa Friedman. She also noted that "a copy of [the report] was obtained by The New York Times" and that "the draft report by scientists from 13 federal agencies, which has not yet been made public, concludes that Americans are feeling the effects of climate change right now."
11. RUSSIA COLLUSION!
The final "fake news award" did not go to a reporter or to an outlet, but to a general story. "And last, but not least: 'RUSSIA COLLUSION!' Russian collusion is perhaps the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people. THERE IS NO COLLUSION!"
Indeed, the collusion angle — while perhaps hard to completely disprove — seems less and less solid as more evidence comes out. There is reason to suspect that the "smoking gun" meeting between Paul Manafort, Donald Trump Jr., and the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya could even have been orchestrated by the Clinton campaign.
The site concluded the awards with a recent Trump tweet explaining why the media had turned to focus on Michael Wolff's book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.
The awards page concluded with a list of ten notable Trump victories, including: two million jobs and $8 trillion in new wealth since Trump's inauguration, the lowest recorded black unemployment rate, the tax reform bill, ISIS in retreat, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the Veterans Administration reform bill, and Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.
Even if not written by Trump himself, the "fake news awards" followed his classic style. While slightly haphazard and inconsistent — some mentioned reporters, others outlets — they do capture the television networks' 90 percent negative slant on Trump coverage, and the overemphasis on the Russia story.
While CNN did not take first place, the "fake news" channel should not despair. If they work hard, they might even get FIVE "fake news awards" next year.