Move aside the Golden Globes, forget the Oscars, never mind the Emmys and who cares about the Grammys, the big one is here.
Yes we’re, of course, talking about the Fake News Awards, devised by Donald J. Trump (aged 71 and a half), hosted by Donald J. Trump (aged 71 and a half), awarded by Donald J. Trump (aged 71 and a half) and with the theme tune written and performed by Donald J. Trump (aged 71 and a half).
And why should we care? Well, because the president, who would never tell a lie, has told us that “the interest in, and importance of, these awards is far greater than anyone could have anticipated!”
The ‘awards’ were originally due to take place last Monday before being moved to Wednesday 17 January but, boy were they worth the wait.
Trump tweeted a link to an article on the Republican website revealing the winners, with the comically childish headline of ‘The Highly-Anticipated 2017 Fake News Awards’ and an opening line of: “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.”
Naturally there was no source for the ‘studies’.
And the winners?
1. New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, who claimed the economy would be hurt by Trump’s election.
THE REALITY: Not really fake news, just a prediction that didn’t come to pass. And, in fact, a prediction that he retracted only three days later, when he wrote,“It’s at least possible that bigger budget deficits will, if anything, strengthen the economy briefly.”
2. ABC‘s Brian Ross, who incorrectly reported a detail in a story about former national security advisor Michael Flynn
THE REALITY: The statement was made during a live broadcast - ABC issued a prompt correction, an apology and suspended Ross for four weeks without pay, saying, “We deeply regret and apologize for the serious error we made yesterday. The reporting conveyed by Brian Ross during the special report had not been fully vetted through our editorial standards process.”
3. CNN reporters Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb, who initially reported that the Trump campaign had access to WikiLeaks documents before they were made public.
THE REALITY: The story was quickly corrected, with CNN acknowledging that, “The new information indicates that the communication is less significant than CNN initially reported.” However, it was not deemed worthy of disciplinary action since reporters followed CNN’s editorial standard process, with CNN saying that it not believe that their sources intended to deceive the reporters. Moreover, the story was debunked by the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal - but according to ‘winner’ number 5, apparently the Washington Post is fake news, so who knows what to believe?
4. TIME Magazine’s Zeke Miller, who reported that Donald Trump had removed a bust of Martin Luther King Jr from the Oval Office.
THE REALITY: It turned out that the bust had been obscured by a door and a government agent. Zeke quickly issued a correction, sending multiple emails and tweets (then Press Secretary Sean Spicer even retweeted one with the words “Apology accepted.”) taking responsibility for his mistake, including asking a White House advisor to pass an apology to the president. TIME wrote: “The President and White House aides have cited this mistake as an example of “deliberately false reporting.” It was no such thing.”
5. Washington Post blogger Dave Weigel, who posted images mocking the size of crowd at a Trump rally but had in fact used images early in the night, before the venue had filled up.
THE REALITY: the paper’s vice president of communications, Kristine Coratti Kelly said. “When others pointed out the mistake to Weigel, he quickly deleted the tweet. And when he was later addressed by the president on Twitter, he promptly apologized for it.”
There’s another five similarly earth-shattering awards before number 11, the real biggie, which states:
11. And last, but not least: “RUSSIA COLLUSION!” Russian collusion is perhaps the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people. THERE IS NO COLLUSION!
Hmmm. If we’re actually being honest, think we can file this one under ‘not proven just yet’ rather than ‘fake news’ right guys?
Meanwhile, here is the regularly-updated, ongoing New York Times list of all the outright lies that Trump has told since taking office. Maybe they should have an awards for those?