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Trump's 'Fake News Awards' lead with CNN, ABC's Ross, NY Times's Krugman
The Republican National Committee unveiled the "winners" of President Trump's "Fake News Awards" on Wednesday night with a list that includes frequent Trump targets in the media as well as a surprise website crash.
The awards list New York Times columnist Paul Krugman as the top winner.
Also awarded: CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times.
"2017 was a year of unrelenting bias, unfair news coverage, and even downright fake news. Studies have shown that over 90 percent of the media's coverage of President Trump is negative," according to the announcement.
The awards, hosted on the GOP's national website, were unavailable immediately following Trump's tweet announcing them, likely from a traffic overload.
"The site is temporarily offline, we are working to bring it back up. Please try back later," it read for nearly an hour after Trump sent out a tweet to the site.
"The New York Times' Paul Krugman claimed on the day of President Trump's historic, landslide victory that the economy would never recover," according to the GOP-hosted website. Krugman's No. 1 listing is contrasted with a headline that shows the Dow hitting a record high.
No. 2 on the list says "ABC News' Brian Ross CHOKES and sends markets in a downward spiral with false report." ABC News was required to correct a report in December when Ross incorrectly reported that Trump directed a campaign aide to make contact with Russians during the campaign. The network later corrected the report to say it was during the transition, after Trump had already been elected. Ross was suspended for the error.
No. 3 blasts CNN for "FALSELY" reporting that candidate Donald Trump and Donald J. Trump, Jr. had access to hacked documents from WikiLeaks. CNN also corrected that report in December.
No. 4: "TIME FALSELY reported that President Trump removed a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Oval Office." That incident was a January tweet by a Time magazine reporter, who sent out more than a dozen tweets correcting the mistake and apologizing immediately following the first tweet that reported a bust had been removed.
No. 5 blames The Washington Post for reporting that "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." That reporter also apologized in a subsequent tweet, saying he was "confused" by another user's shared images.
The list also "awards" CNN for making it appear that Trump "defiantly overfed fish during a visit with the Japanese prime minister" even though the "Japanese prime minister actually led the way with the feeding."
CNN is also blamed on the list for reporting that former FBI Director James Comey would dispute Trump's claim "that he was told he is not under investigation." Comey confirmed that claim in congressional testimony.
The awards also blame Newsweek for reporting that Polish first lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda did not shake Trump's hand. A video that appeared to capture the missed handshake went viral on social media at the time.
The New York Times also "falsely claimed on the front page that the Trump administration had hidden a climate report," the awards say. The report was actually publicly available at the time, and the paper was forced to issue a correction.
Finally, the "Fake News Awards" note that "Russian collusion is perhaps the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people. THERE IS NO COLLUSION!" Trump has repeatedly maintained that, despite an investigation into allegations that his campaign colluded with Moscow-linked hackers during the 2016 presidential race, his campaign was never involved.
The awards also cite what appears to be a recent study by the conservative Media Research Center, which showed "the media spent 90 percent of the time focused on negative coverage or fake news, the President has been getting results."
It goes on to list accomplishments that Trump frequently touts from his first year in office, related to job and wealth creation, the minority unemployment rate, and legislative and regulatory successes such as tax reform being passed, Obama-era regulations cut, and approval of the Keystone pipeline, as well as the ISIS retreat in Iraq and Syria, Jerusalem being recognized as the capital of Israel, and Neil Gorsuch being named to the Supreme Court.
The "Fake News Awards" are another example of Trump's ongoing war on the media. The president frequently refers to some unfavorable or inaccurate stories about him or the administration as "fake news."
In October, for example, the president slammed NBC News after it reported that Trump had suggested increasing the nation's nuclear arms stockpile "tenfold" during a closed-door meeting with his Cabinet.
"With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!" Trump tweeted.
The president also recently suggested taking "a very, very strong look" at libel laws in order to ensure false claims by the press have "meaningful recourse in our courts."
"Our current libel laws are a sham and a disgrace and do not represent American values and American fairness," he told reporters. "We're going to take a very, very strong look at that."
A string of media mistakes at the end of the year provided more fodder for Trump's criticism, as did a recent Pew Research year-end analysis of media coverage that showed the president received just 5 percent positive coverage in 2017.
In contrast, President Obama's coverage in his first year was 20 percent negative. Overall, Trump received more than three times more negative coverage than his predecessor, according to Pew.
A Harvard study found that CNN's and NBC's coverage of Trump was negative 93 percent of the time over the course of his first 100 days in office. The New York Times's coverage in the same study was 87 percent negative, while The Washington Post's was 82 percent in that direction.
One of Trump's favorite targets is CNN.
CNN's Jim Acosta has engaged in daily debates with White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her predecessor, Sean Spicer, who departed in August. Critics have accused Acosta of grandstanding and making himself the story, while supporters say he's holding the administration accountable.
It was also almost one year ago that Trump, as president-elect, called Acosta "rude" and blasted the network as "fake news."
"Your organization is terrible," Trump told Acosta on Jan. 11, 2017, when he repeatedly attempted to ask a question.
"You're attacking us; can you give us a question?" Acosta replied.
"Don't be rude. No, I'm not going to give you a question. You are fake news," Trump responded, before calling on another reporter.
CNN responded in October with a "#FactsFirst" ad campaign mocking the president for telling falsehoods.
"This is an apple," the ad's narrator begins over a photo of an apple. "Some people might try to tell you it's a banana."
"They might scream 'banana, banana, banana' over and over and over again. They might put 'banana' in all caps. You might even start to believe that this is a banana. But it's not. This is an apple," it continues.
The Washington Post launched a new slogan in February, shortly after the president took office: "Democracy Dies in Darkness."
The New York Times launched a "truth" ad campaign, also in February. "The truth is our nation is more divided than ever," the ads say. "The truth is alternative facts are lies.
"The truth is ... the truth is hard. The truth is more important now than ever."
A November Quinnipiac poll found American voters disapprove of media coverage of the president by a 20-point margin. However, 54 percent said they trust the media to tell the truth about important issues more than Trump, while 34 percent said they trusted the president more.