After weeks of speculation, the “Fake News Awards” promised by Trump were posted on the GOP’s official website on Jan. 12.
Here is the full list:
1. The New York Times
The New York Times’ Paul Krugman took the top spot over a column he wrote on Nov. 9, 2016, that questioned whether the stock market would ever recover from a Trump presidency. Instead, markets have set record after record, with the Dow Jones reaching 26,000 points for the first time on Jan. 11.
ABC was called out for a fake news report claiming that candidate Trump had directed Gen. Michael Flynn to make contact with the Russian government during the elections.
ABC was forced to apologize over the mistake—which was repeated by numerous other media—and suspended Brian Ross, who had made the statement, for four weeks.
The Dow Jones had dropped 350 points on the fake news.
CNN was called out for an article it published last month claiming that Trump’s campaign had received an email with advanced access to documents from Wikileaks. After broadcasting the claims for the entire day, CNN was forced to issue a correction because it got the timing wrong—the email was sent after the documents were already publicly released by Wikileaks, rendering the main premise of the story false.
Time made an embarrassing mistake claiming that Trump removed the bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Oval Office on inauguration day, which was not the case. The news organization was forced to retract the story.
5. The Washington Post
Washington Post reporter Dave Wiegel is called out for tweeting out a picture of a half-empty stadium, making it seem like few people had shown up for Trump’s rally in Florida. Instead the picture was taken hours before the event started. Wiegel was forced to apologize.
.@DaveWeigel @WashingtonPost put out a phony photo of an empty arena hours before I arrived @ the venue, w/ thousands of people outside, on their way in. Real photos now shown as I spoke. Packed house, many people unable to get in. Demand apology & retraction from FAKE NEWS WaPo! pic.twitter.com/XAblFGh1ob
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 9, 2017
CNN was called out for running a story making it seem like Trump broke protocol by dumping his whole container of fish food into a koi pond while visiting Japan. Instead, Trump followed what Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did before him.
CNN was forced to fire three employees in June last year after they published a story falsely claiming that then-White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci had ties to a Russian investment fund. CNN was forced to retract the story and fired the journalists, including the executive editor in charge of its investigative unit.
Newsweek was called out for falsely reporting that Polish First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda did not shake Trump’s hand during his visit to Warsaw in July last year. She did.
CNN falsely reported that former FBI Director Comey would not confirm to Congress that he had told Trump he was not under investigation. Thus casting doubt on a statement the president had made in his letter firing Comey, in which he had said that he appreciated Comey informing him he was not under investigation. Instead, Comey did testify to Congress that he had indeed informed the president that he was not under investigation.
10. New York Times
The New York Times was forced to run an embarrassing correction after it claimed that the Trump administration had hidden a climate change report. The report was publicly available.
Russia Collusion Narrative
The “Fake News Awards” also called out the Trump-Russia collusion narrative which dominated news coverage last year.
Despite more than a year of investigations, no evidence of such collusion has been found. Instead, evidence has emerged that the FBI used the so-called Trump dossier as the basis for obtaining a FISA warrant to spy on Trump’s team.
Fusion GPS, the company behind the dossier, which was paid for by the Clinton campaign and the DNC, also made payments to journalists, according to court documents filed by the House Intelligence Committee.
The company had also instructed Christopher Steele, who helped author the dossier, to give briefings to a select number of media organizations including The New York Times, The New Yorker, CNN, The Washington Post, and Yahoo News, court documents filed in the UK show.
In reporting on the Russia collusion narrative, media organizations have relied mostly on anonymous sources.
Speaking under oath before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on June 8, former FBI Director James Comey discredited a Feb. 15 front page story in The New York Times, which claimed that members of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign “had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election.”
At the hearing, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) pressed Comey further on the piece from The New York Times, asking, “Would it be fair to characterize that story as almost entirely wrong?”, to which Comey replied, “Yes.”
Comey went on to discredit other media reports, which have frequently cited unnamed intelligence and government sources to push their narrative that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the election.
“All of you know this. Maybe the American people don’t,” Comey said, addressing the Senate committee. He said when it comes to reporters writing stories about classified information, “people talking about it often don’t really know what’s going on.”
He said there have been many stories about the Russia investigations “that are just dead wrong.”
Trend of Bias
Research published by the Pew Research Center in October last year showed that Trump has received the most negative media coverage of any other president over the past 25 years.
An analysis of more than 3,000 stories during the first 100 days of his presidency, across 24 different media organizations, revealed that only 5 percent of media reporting during the period was positive. Sixty-two percent of stories were negative, and 33 percent were neither positive nor negative.
By comparison, coverage of President Barack Obama during the same time period was 42 percent positive and 20 percent negative.
For President George W. Bush, the number was 22 percent positive and 28 percent negative.
And for President Bill Clinton, it was 27 percent positive and 28 percent negative.
The study also revealed that most media coverage of Trump focused on his character traits rather than policy.
Only 31 percent of all stories published on Trump focused on policy issues, compared to 50 percent for Obama, 65 percent for Bush, and 58 percent for Clinton.