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Fake News Awards Highlight Mistakes

Jan 19, 2018

President Donald Trump finally announced his Fake News Awards this week, months after suggesting that he wanted to give a trophy to the journalist he felt was the most dishonest in coverage of his administration.

“I loved everyone of them,” Fox News Channel host and presidential confidant Sean Hannity said shortly after the awards were announced on the website of the Republican National Committee.

It’s no surprise that Hannity’s conservative network and favorite of the president didn’t earn any of the 10 dubious honors. Likewise, the president’s favorite media punching bag - CNN - got four.

Notably, each of the ‘winners’ were mistakes journalists made - and corrected, Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies said. As noted in the list, several journalists - such as ABC’s Brian Ross - were suspended or fired for the errors.

“Three of them were tweets that were all promptly retracted. Four of them were mistakes that were promptly retracted. One of them was a column that was a prediction that was then pulled back a couple of days later,” she said. “You could point to this list and say this is an example of journalists for the most part being very responsible.”

Trump’s fake news list did not highlight late night comedians, including Stephen Colbert, who actually bought a Times Square billboard pleading for Fake News Award ‘consideration.” And McBride notes that it also ignored some other high-profile stories that had raised the ire of the President.

“There were actually some surprising absences here. Buzzfeed didn’t get one and if you recall, Buzzfeed was the only news organization that published the notorious dossier, which was a compendium of intelligence - most of it decidely not true - about President Trump and his connection to the Russians,” she said.

The other person who didn’t get a fake news award: Michael Wolff, author of the recent book and controversial bestseller, ‘Fire and Fury.’ “

“It’s not clear why they weren’t mentioned, except that they would be valid criticisms against both of them and it may make the rest of his fake news look trivial.”