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There were no winners in President’s ‘Fake News’ Awards

January 26, 2018 — On Wednesday, Jan. 17, President Trump rolled out his self-hyped “Fake News Awards.” He did it through the official GOP website and attempted to capitalize upon it by having a “donate” option.

The winners were…immaterial, actually. Because there are no winners in a situation like this.

Samantha Kilgore

Samantha Kilgore

The Fake News Awards were an open attack, by the sitting president, on the First Amendment. The same man who claimed for years that Barack Obama was from Kenya (he isn’t), who doubled and tripled down on having a massive inauguration crowd (it wasn’t), who made more than 2,000 false or misleading claims in his first year of the presidency alone, is lashing out at the media because they reported upon those discrepancies and more.

Presidents are heavily scrutinized. Perhaps it does seem unfair. The media did, after all, seem to lose its mind when former President Obama wore a tan suit. They had a heyday when George W. Bush made a slip of the tongue. It’s part of the job. No president has had a personal affection for the media. Each one has felt they were unfairly scrutinized. But before now, each one—except for Richard Nixon—had a great respect for the media, and the role that the media plays in society and democracy.

And if something is reported incorrectly, which happens, the President and his White House are well within their rights to demand a retraction and correction and even an apology – if they can provide proof that something was reported incorrectly.

But shouting “fake news!” in order to drown out the truth simply because the truth doesn’t look good isn’t a viable solution. This isn’t how this works.

What the president is doing is damaging to democracy. If, through voicing his displeasure, or threatening to somehow litigate the media, he is attempting to silence the media because he doesn’t find the news personally flattering, this is a serious matter. The media functions as the watchdog of the public. The media is supposed to inform the public of what the president is doing, and if the president is playing golf, or dismantling the Affordable Care Act, or granting tax cuts, or kissing babies and playing with puppies, that’s news simply because he is the President of the United States.

If what the media is reporting is upsetting, it shouldn’t be the media that gets criticized for what it’s reporting, but leadership for what they are doing.

The media is the fourth pillar of democracy. It upholds that democracy and demands accountability. It is designed to inform, to give the public what the public needs in order to form opinion and act accordingly. It is, by no means, perfect.

It is, however, necessary. And it is under attack.

By Samantha Kilgore • kimeberely@leaderpress.com

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5 Responses to There were no winners in President’s ‘Fake News’ Awards

  1. Reba Jones Reply

    January 27, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Without our free press, our freedom is in jeprody of being based on uninformed perceptions. Keep up the good job of maintaining an informed public.

  2. Garry l Lafferty Reply

    January 27, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    GOP talk alternut fact as well. That also lies.

  3. Garry l Lafferty Reply

    January 27, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    Facts matter but not to Republican they have so called alternut facts which is a lie. Facts are facts.

  4. Susan edwards Reply

    January 27, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    The press is important, unfortunately it has been too bias and loss credibility. To take pictures of an event before the audience arrives and call it a small crowd is wrong and misleading. The mainstream press is blatantly publishing slanted news and will lose viewers to internet news.

  5. Tom Reply

    February 17, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Samantha Kilgore you are in the wrong position if you of all people couldn’t see the biased reporting of your President and the dishonesty of the press concerning the last administration the facts are there try reporting them

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