I don’t really care what the President says is fake news. What matters on Ethics Alarms is what I decide is fake news. His much ballyhooed list of fake news items ignore that many inexcusable examples that have nothing to do with him, like various stories designed to impugn conservatives and normal people because journalists think they are stupid, or intentionally misleading headlines, or when reporters sneak false characterizations into their “news stories” as facts, or publishing gossip as fact using anonymous sources, or passing along falsity in the course of reporting a related matter, as in this instance, when NBC’s reporter said, “President Donald Trump returned to one of his most derogatory insults Friday, referring to Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas” — a jab at her Native American ancestry.” (Psst! NBC! Senator Warren has no Native American ancestry.)
However, Ethics Alarms is duty bound to assess the President’s “2017 Fake News Awards,” which he released last week.
No, I don’t believe he should be releasing such awards. It’s beneath the Office, and he isn’t Seth Myers. (If there were a a fair, satirical comic who made any attempt at partisan balance, this would be a good gimmick for him or her. There isn’t. That’s another problem.) Here is the list, with comments from me:
#1. “The New York Times’ Paul Krugman claimed on the day of President Trump’s historic, landslide victory that the economy would never recover.”
Comment: Ugh. Signature significance for bad staff work and stupidity: the very first item isn’t fake news, wasn’t news at all, and didn’t even occur in 2017. On election night in 2016, Krugman stated a prediction and an opinion, and made as ass out of himself. That’s certainly not news. So right off the bat, we know that the 2017 “Fake News Awards” are more about using these items as an excuse to trumpet Trump’s successes.Got it.
If I didn’t have to, that would be sufficient to make me stop reading, or caring.
#2. “ABC News’ Brian Ross CHOKES and sends markets in a downward spiral with false report.”
#3. CNN FALSELY reported that candidate Donald Trump and his son Donald J. Trump, Jr. had access to hacked documents from WikiLeaks.
Comment: #2 and #3, both covered on ethics alarms, are the crown jewels of the fake news collection, among the hundreds that shredded the mainstream media’s reputation for trustwortiness durin the year. For the Whataboutists out there—and you know who you are!—these two alone destroy the “But Fox News was just as unfair to Obama!” baloney. In 8 years, no story broken by Fox were as unforgivable as Ross’s bombshell claim that Brian Ross went live on ABC last week and announced the fake news story that then-candidate Donald Trump had instructed Michael Flynn to make contact with the Russians, that smoking gun that all “the resistance” had been searching for, dreaming about, wishing were out there. It triggering a massive stock market sell-off. Seven hours later, ABC sheepishly admitted that it was President-elect Trump who had made the request of Flynn, which is called “being President.” Ross was suspended for four weeks without pay, and ABC said he wouldn’t be trusted to cover the President any more. This itself was outrageous: if he’s so biased that he can’t cover the President, Ross is too unprofessional to be a journalist at all, certainly at ABC News. (Maybe for the Hooten Holler Gazette.) So far, Ross has yet to resurface, though his exile was supposedly up.