‘Fake News Awards’ leads to real tech problems

Photo courtesy of the Grio | The GOP website was overloaded when President Donald Trump’s “Fake News Awards” were released on Jan. 17. The awards were announced in a list that had 11 spots and was followed by 10 of the president’s “biggest” accomplishments. The Newswire was not a “fake news” award winner.

President Donald Trump announced the winners of the first “Fake News Awards” in a post on the official GOP website on Jan. 17. These awards came on the same day that Senator Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., compared the president to Joseph Stalin for his attacks on the media.

The initial announcement of the awards was met with technological trouble. The GOP website crashed, and visitors were greeted with an error 404 message saying, “Don’t worry, we’re making it great again.”

In a ranked list with 11 spots, the number one spot went to an editorial piece by Paul Krugman of The New York Times written shortly after the 2016 election. Initially, Krugman wrote that the markets would never recover. Krugman edited his claim three days after the article was published to say that budget deficits under Trump might strengthen the economy in the short run.

Number two on the list was awarded to ABC News anchor Brian Ross, who initially reported on Dec. 2, 2017, that Trump had directed Michael Flynn to contact the Russians before Nov. 8, 2016. The president had directed him to contact them only after he had won the election. ABC News corrected the error. That same day, on “ABC World News Tonight,” Ross read a clarification and was suspended four weeks without pay. It was announced on Jan. 5, 2018, that Ross would be reassigned to ABC’s outside production house, Lincoln Square Productions. He retained his title of chief investigative correspondent.

The other nine winners included stories from The New York Times, Newsweek, Time and CNN, who was listed four times.

The 11th winner was not attributed to any specific outlet — rather it was centered around the current Russia investigation. The blog post read, “Russian collusion is perhaps the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people. THERE IS NO COLLUSION!”

Following the list of the award winners were 10 bullet points listing various accomplishments of the administration.

The president first mentioned the “Fake News Awards” in a tweet in Nov. 2017. He called it the “Fake News Trophy” and said it should be awarded to one of the major news networks like CNN.

In late December, the Trump re-election campaign sent out an email to supporters to rank three stories as “fake,” “faker” or “fakest” news.

By: Jack Dunn ~Staff Writer~