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No Fear No Favour

US President finally announced the winners of ‘Fake News’ awards

Donald Trump has announced the winners of his self-proclaimed “Fake News” awards, with The New York Times topping the list.

But shortly after the US president tweeted a link to a website run by the Republican National Committee, his party’s political arm, it returned an error message, having apparently crashed.

When it later returned, it revealed that Mr Trump has singled out New York Times columnist Paul Krugman for claiming Mr Trump’s presidency would inflict severe damage to the US economy, which has in fact rallied under his leadership.

He also attacked Brian Ross, a reporter for ABC News, who erroneously reported that Mr Trump directed former national Security Adviser Michael Flynn to make contact with Russia during the election.

Mr Ross was suspended by the network and then moved to a different assignment.

General Flynn meanwhile, has pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about meetings with Russia’s ambassador weeks before Donald Trump became president. The charges were brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, as part of his inquiry into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.

Mr Trump also highlighted a corrected report in TIME magazine which claimed that Mr Trump had removed a bust of Martin Luther King Jr from the Oval Office.

A number of CNN reports were also highlighted.

Rounding out the list was a subject that frequently earns Mr Trump’s derisive “fake news” label: investigations into potential collusion between his presidential campaign and Russia, which he dismissed as “the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people”.

Despite what he called “dishonest media coverage”, Mr Trump went on to say that there were “many great reporters”, before insisting there was lots of good news for the American people.

“Isis is in retreat, our economy is booming, investments and jobs are pouring back into the country, and so much more,” he wrote on the social media site. “Together there is nothing we can’t overcome–even a very biased media. We ARE Making America Great Again!”

Mr Trump had initially pledged to hand out the “most dishonest and corrupt media awards of the year” on 8 January and he later pushed the date back to 17 January.

He insisted that “interest in, and importance of, these awards” was “far greater than anyone could have anticipated”.

But there was no mention of the ceremony in his White House schedule, although his press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted they would keep reporters posted.

Mr Trump has repeatedly assailed The New York Times which he has often claimed is “failing”, despite evidence to the contrary. He also frequently lambasts the broadcaster CNN.

However, he lavishes praise on media outlets whose coverage he approves of, with the programme “Fox and Friends” regularly earning complimentary mentions on Twitter.

This latest broadside against journalists came on the same day that a pair of Republican senators, themselves long critical of Mr Trump, blasted his approach to the press.

Jeff Flake of Arizona denounced the President’s “shameful, repulsive” approach to the media from the Senate floor.

“When a figure in power reflexively calls any press that doesn’t suit him ‘fake news,’ it is that person who should be the figure of suspicion, not the press,” he said.

Source: Independent

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