Donald Trump’s announcement that he would hand out awards for what he calls ‘fake news’ has fired up comics and media commentators and has them competing for a prize.
The US President, who has frequently criticised the press, calling them “the enemy of the people,” often uses the term “fake news” to cast doubt on reports critical of him or his administration without presenting evidence to support his case.
Trump had tweeted that he planned to announce the most dishonest and corrupt media awards of the year on January 8.
He then postponed the event until January 17, saying on Twitter, “the interest in, and importance of, these awards is far greater than anyone could have anticipated”.
Late-night TV hosts, who have mocked Trump since his 2016 election win, swiftly dubbed the awards ‘The Fakeys’ or ‘The Trumpies’.
Colbert, host of The Late Show on CBS, is campaigning for ‘Fakest Dishonesty’, ‘Dishonestest Corruption’ and ‘Smallest Button’, among several other made-up categories.
Comedian Samantha Bee is campaigning for ‘Shrillest Reporting’ while late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert put up a billboard in New York’s Times Square in a bid to win votes.
Also, his rival Jimmy Kimmel calls them ‘The Stupid People’s Choice Awards’.
In a tongue-in-cheek war of insults, The Daily Show has also run videos asking whether Colbert and comic Samantha Bee of Full Frontal on TBS “can really be mistrusted,” and proclaiming the satirical show’s South African-born host, Trevor Noah, “literally un-American”.
Public radio’s predominantly serious On the Media show last week ran spoof red-carpet coverage of ‘The Fakeys’, with various newspaper and TV journalists jostling for fake-news honors.
Trump’s announcement followed nearly a year in which, according to a Washington Post analysis, Trump made some 2,000 false or misleading statements in his first 12 months in office.
The term ‘fake news’ was originally coined to describe false reports, often spread through social media and sometimes aimed at supporting or hurting a political figure.
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