The GOP.com website crashed in seconds as Trump revealed his Fake News Awards there:
And the FAKE NEWS winners are…https://t.co/59G6x2f7fD
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2018
Even so, within minutes, #FakeNewsAwards was the top trender on Twitter — worldwide.
The Times’ Krugman won first place in Trump’s inaugural trophy ceremony for having predicted, on the day of Trump’s election, that the stock market would “never recover” from the election. The economist wrote that “it really does not look like President Donald J. Trump, and the markets are plunging. … If the question is when the markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never.”
Ross was suspended and demoted by ABC News after reporting, inaccurately, that ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was going to testify that Trump, while still a candidate, ordered Flynn to make contact with Russians. ABC News chief James Goldston announced that Ross would be reassigned after a four-week unpaid suspension, moving to the news operation’s outside Lincoln Square Productions.
CNN, meanwhile, was awarded for a correction it issued over the dates in a report about Trump and son Don Jr. getting access to WikiLeaks’ hacked documents before they became publicly available. CNN issued a correction saying, “CNN’s initial reporting of the date on an email sent to members of the Trump campaign about Wikileaks documents, which was confirmed by two sources to CNN, was incorrect.”
CNN won the most “Fake News” awards from the reality-TV host turned President of the United States:
No. 4: Time report that Trump had removed the bust of Martin Luther King Jr. from the White House.
No. 5: Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel’s photo of Trump rally suggesting low turnout, taken before the event started.
No. 6: CNN video showing Trump overfeeding fish while visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
No. 7: CNN report on Trump transition team member Anthony Scaramucci meeting with chief exec at Russian investment fund.
No. 8: Newsweek report that Polish First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda declined to shake Trump’s hand.
No. 9: CNN report that former FBI Director James Comey would dispute Trump’s claim of being told he’s not under investigation.
No 10: New York Times article on Trump administration climate report.
No. 11: Russia Collusion — because, Trump says, “there is no collusion.”
Media had spent most of the day with its knickers in a state of high knottedness, trying to prep for the Big Reveal in the absence of any actual details.
After pushing the trophy show all day, Fox News Channel seemed to put on the brakes around 4:45 PM PT, when Martha MacCallum asked FNC’s media pundits if they too were waiting to see if the awards were going to happen, reporting that there has been some debate in the White House whether these awards are a good idea, given the “climate.”
“These elusive awards! I think the President has already accomplished his goal,” Kurtz laughed. “He’s gotten all of us to talk about it and he’s put the spotlight on what he calls ‘fake news’. I think some news organizations may want to get these awards to use as a badge of honor. He’s trolling the press here…I think he’s made his point.” Kurtz said he wasn’t sure Trump could “resist” announcing his award winners, even if his staff advised him it was “not such a good idea” and he should “just move on to the next crisis.”
But then Tucker Carlson went into full Trump and Media Have Hate-Hate Relationship mode for his 8 PM broadcast.
Trump originally announced his contribution to Awards Season would be held the day after the Golden Globe Awards. But, on Globes Sunday, Trump announced the rescheduling of his inaugural Fake News Awards for Wednesday, January 17, explaining the move came after “interest in, and importance of, these awards is far greater than anyone could have anticipated!”
Loosely translated: Trump had a scheduling conflict that Monday, being committed to attend the College Football National Championship game between Alabama and Georgia in Atlanta.
But, come Wednesday morning, Trump White House had revealed no details. Arizona’s GOP Sen. Jeff Flake went ahead and gave a red carpet speech anyway, on the floor of the Senate, saying, “Today the President intends to announce his choice for the ‘most corrupt and dishonest’ media awards. … It beggars belief that an American president would engage in such a spectacle. But here we are.”
Meanwhile, Arizona’s Sen. John McCain wrote an op-ed in WaPo: Mr President, stop attacking the press.
Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah showed up on Fox News Channel to promise to Harris Faulkner the Trump White House is “very excited about the Fake News Awards.”
“You have to stay tuned. I know there has been excitement for weeks now,” Shah insisted. “Few more hours, there will be an announcement a little bit later. I don’t want to get ahead of it.”
When 5 PM ET came and went, media began to foam over, having assumed the announcement was scheduled for that time, which was when it had been scheduled the day after the Globes, though Trump White House never said when it would happen on Wednesday:
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) January 17, 2018
Trump first proposed the idea of a “FAKE NEWS TROPHY” in a November 27 tweet. He originally envisioned picking the television network that “is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me).”
Late-night TV gleefully jumped on board. Stephen Colbert, who dubbed the awards The Fakies, kicked off the For Your Consideration campaigning with a Times Square billboard asking that his Late Show be included in such categories as “Fakest Dishonesty,” “Smallest Button” and “Least Breitbarty.”
Trevor Noah responded with a full-page ad in The New York Times, touting The Daily Show as most deserving.
Trump had made no mention of them since he announced the re-scheduling. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was similarly tight-lipped, even at Wednesday’s press briefing.
But Trump’s favorite morning show, Fox & Friends, frothed about the awards Wednesday morning. “The Fake News Awards are tonight!” gushed Brian Kilmeade. “Do we have an outfit picked out? Have we rented a tux?”
“I wonder if there’s gonna be trophies?” Steve Doocy asked. Ainsley Earhardt said she’d make popcorn.
They promised anyone who missed the trophy ceremony could catch up on their show Thursday morning.