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Trump's 'fake news' awards take the prize for big flops

By Clarence Page, Tribune Content Agency on

By the time he got around to presenting his long-promised "2017 Fake New Awards," even President Donald Trump seemed to be losing interest in the hostile spirit of the event.

After tweeting a link to his list of winning -- or, if you prefer, losing -- journalists and news organizations last Wednesday night, Trump tweeted another message that sounded almost apologetic:

"Despite some very corrupt and dishonest media coverage," he tweeted, "there are many great reporters I respect and lots of GOOD NEWS for the American people to be proud of!"

With that sweet little air-kiss to the media that his awards list dumps on, Trump gave away a reality of Trump World: As much as he attacks the "fake," "lying" or "corrupt" news media -- and unapologetically picks up Twitter material from Fox News programs -- he also signals to reporters that, as in the Corleone family in "The Godfather" book and movies, it's just business; don't take it personally.

He still picks up the phone and offers exclusives to the "failing New York Times" (which really isn't) or other mainstream media as it suits his purpose.

Let us not forget that the wealthy real estate developer also spent many years starring in his own reality TV show, "The Apprentice," and performing in the WWE, among other adventures. In a way, Trump's experience behind and in front of cameras is so extensive that, for him, taking on the role of media critic sounds almost like a conflict of interest.

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And considering his deplorable record of issuing "alternative facts," as famously declared by one of his spokespeople (The Washington Post has listed more than 2,000 false or misleading quotes from him in his first year in office), taking media criticism from Trump is sort of like taking dating advice from Bill Cosby: Even if it's good advice, the source has a credibility problem.

"The interest in, and importance of, these awards," he said, "is far greater than anyone could have anticipated!"

But when the event came up, it was remarkably low-key for the famously flamboyant and larger-than-life Trump. No Oscar-worthy red carpets, limos or Hollywood reporters asking what people were wearing.

Instead there was a tweet from Trump with a link to the Republican Party's gop.com website, which immediately crashed under the sudden spike in demand. Some wags have found some symbolism in that, as though the Grand Old Party still isn't ready for the arrival of Trump and his loyal new tribe of the Trumpicons.

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(c) 2018 CLARENCE PAGE DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.
 

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