Trump’s Fake News Awards Are Mostly Fake News.

Our Media Is More Accountable Than Our President.

6 min readJan 18, 2018

Let’s evaluate the accuracy of Trump’s “fake news” claims as asserted in his infamous awards announced Wednesday night.

Below are the winners of the 2017 Fake News Awards.

1. The New York Times’ Paul Krugman claimed on the day of President Trump’s historic, landslide victory that the economy would never recover.

Krugman’s article for this was not even in 2017, but rather November 9, 2016. I would normally not even mention this awarding 2017 Fake news for something that happened in late 2016, except that the President invites me to do so by making an issue of incorrect dates later in his Fake News Award presentations. However, the real problem is the lie in claiming it was reported by the New York Times as news. It was not. It was an editorial, plainly appearing on the opinion page of the Times (the word “opinion” is even in the url of the link). An opinion is just that, and no matter how wrong it is it is not fake news because it is not “news” at all.

2. ABC News’ Brian Ross CHOKES and sends markets in a downward spiral with false report.

This one is more typical of the fake news awards. A reporter makes a mistake, and it is quickly corrected with the reporter disciplined for the error. In short, the media is generally self correcting in nature and tends to hold its people accountable for errors. That’s in sharp contrast to how Trump works when he unabashedly and unapologetically lies.

Brian Ross mixed up the complex Russia Gate timeline and reported that a source told him Trump ordered Flynn to contact Russians during the campaign. This was an error. In fact, the source said this happened during the transition. Within hours Ross corrected the story. The next day ABC issued a clear retraction and profuse apology.

As you can see Ross was suspended without pay for a month. He humbly accepted the punishment stating “My job is to hold people accountable and that’s why I agree with being held accountable myself.” This is a compelling case of the media holding itself far more accountable than the President of the United States holds himself accountable for his numerous lies. As you will see, there will be a lot more of that.

3. CNN FALSELY reported that candidate Donald Trump and his son Donald J. Trump, Jr. had access to hacked documents from WikiLeaks.

CNN made an understandable mistake reporting that Trump Jr received an encryption key from Wikileaks for leaked Clinton emails on September 4th. The correct date was September 14th. While the mistake appears to amount to a typo, the mistaken timing created the impression the Trump Campaign may have facilitated a leak of Clinton emails. Once again other media sources almost instantly pounced on the mistake. CNN acknowledged and corrected the error. This is another story of how the media self corrects when it is wrong, whereas our President does not.

4. TIME FALSELY reported that President Trump removed a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Oval Office.

Time did not really report this. It was single live tweet from a reporter in the room that was once again quickly corrected. The MLK bust had been moved and a Winston Churchill bust placed where it had been. Zeke Miller tweeted the MLK bust was gone but it was just in a different part of the room. Within minutes he recognized the error, deleted the offending tweet, and began issuing what would become over a score of corrections, retractions and profuse apologies fully accepting blame for the mistake. These were typical.

One of the apologies was directly to White House press Secretary Sean Spicer stating “This is on me, not my colleagues. I’ve been doing everything I can to fix my error. My apologies.” Sarah Sanders tweeted back to Miller that the White House accepted the apology.

So there is a fake news here story after all. The President’s awarding this to Zeke Miller after Miller apologizing has reduced the White House Press Secretary’s acceptance of Miller’s apology to fake news. Sorry Sarah, your boss made you a liar . . . again.

5. 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.

This too involves no actual report by The Washington Post but rather a live tweet from a reporter, on his personal twitter account, who posted a picture of the nearly empty auditorium with a sarcastic “packed to the rafters” comment. The reporter quickly realized the error, deleted the tweet, corrected it, and apologized. The reporter even apologized directly to Donald Trump when Trump tweeted demanding an apology.

The only time the story appeared in an actual WaPo report was an article apologizing for the error. Not good enough for Trump.

6. 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.

This is the actual CNN Report. The video involved started as viral tweet. However, as you can read for yourself the CNN report said “As an aide clapped loudly, Abe and Trump tossed spoonfuls of fish food into the pond. Then, with a look of enjoyment, Trump quickly poured his entire box of food into the pond. The move got Trump some laughs, and a smile from Abe, who actually appeared to dump out his box of food ahead of Trump.” Put simply, CNN’s original report was that Abe “led the way with the feeding.”

7. CNN FALSELY reported about Anthony Scaramucci’s meeting with a Russian, but retracted it due to a “significant breakdown in process.”

Another case of a self correcting media in action holding its people accountable for mistakes. CNN not only retracted and apologized for the story, CNN also fired three reporters over this and reorganized its investigations team staff and processes.

8. Newsweek FALSELY reported that Polish First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda did not shake President Trump’s hand.

The Newsweek Report was based on video where it did appear she passed over Trump to shake Melania’s hand. Extended video showed she went back to shake Trump’s hand. Read Newsweek’s own correction of the story.

9. CNN FALSELY reported that former FBI Director James Comey would dispute President Trump’s claim that he was told he is not under investigation.

These last two (before the non-specific #11) are probably the strongest Trump has. CNN did get this wrong. CNN also issued a correction and retraction.

10. The New York Times FALSELY claimed on the front page that the Trump administration had hidden a climate report.

As indicated, Trump’s complaint here while minor is mostly legit. The Times made this mistake, issued a lame correction and moved on.

11. And last, but not least: “RUSSIA COLLUSION!” Russian collusion is perhaps the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people. THERE IS NO COLLUSION!

There is no specific allegation here. It’s mostly just a big strawman for its false suggestion that mainstream media sources have definitely reported there was actionable collusion. They haven’t. They have reported on the very real news of an investigation into possible collusion. Reporting that the Director of the FBI testified the FBI was investigating possible collusion is not fake news, that really happened. Reporting that Trump Jr’s emails detail planning a meeting intending to collude is not fake news, that happened. Reporting that the collusion investigation has already netted two indictments and two convictions is not fake news, that happened. Reporting that both those convictions involved Trump Campaign and/or Administration officials lying about their connections and conversations with Russians is not fake news, that happened. Reporting that one of those convictions involved a Trump Campaign official confessing that he attempted to collude with Russians to get hacked Clinton emails, with the full knowledge and encouragement of senior Trump Campaign officials is not fake news, that happened.

The facts reveal that Trump, and those in his campaign, have flat out lied numerous times in broadly denying any connections with or communications with Russians. We know things occurred that Trump and his people repeatedly assured the American people never occurred.

Thus, Trump’s final award is itself fake news.




Retired lawyer & Army vet in The Villages of Florida. Lifelong: Republican (pre-Trump), Constitution buff, science nerd & dog lover. Twitter: @KeithDB80