Trump's 'fake news' awards take the prize for big flops
Ready or not, it soon became apparent why Trump had gone low-key with his list. As a list of abuses of truth or the public trust, it flops. That's because most major media have this habit of correcting errors as soon as possible. Trump has a habit, cultivated long before he became president, of almost never apologizing for or even admitting to making a mistake.
His top award went not to a news reporter but to award-winning columnist Paul Krugman for an opinion on "the day of President Trump's historic landslide victory that the economy would never recover," the White House wrote.
It's easy to see why Trump would want to remind everybody that the stock market has surged, contrary to Krugman's doomsday prediction. But, as the Washington Post's Fact Checker pointed out, Krugman retracted that prediction three days later, noting that "it is possible that bigger budget deficits will, if anything, strengthen the economy briefly.
The same was true of the other 10 award winners, which included a couple of tweets that were quickly deleted and never went into print as news.
An exception: The final award, which apparently was directed at the media in general, went to "Russian collusion" as "perhaps the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people." Alas, as everyone should know, special counsel Robert Mueller and congressional committees led by Republicans are still investigating, so that award is premature at best.
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But that award also reveals the true aim of the fake news awards: political propaganda at the expense of facts. Since that's the confidential definition of "fake news," let's give that grand prize to Trump himself and his administration -- as a full employment program for fact checkers.
Every president complains about their news coverage. Few put it in center stage as Trump has. As he becomes more accustomed to his new job, he still slips back into his old one: a reality TV star who is eager to create his own reality.
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