In November Trump suggested that a contest should be held to find out which news outlet was the “most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted” in its coverage of him, with the winner being awarded a “fake news trophy.”
Trump did not specify how the contest would be carried out or who or what would determine the winner of the trophy, but over the weekend the GOP tried to answer that question.
In a tweet, the official Twitter account for the Republican party asked its followers to “rate the most fake news stories of 2017” to help them “crown the 2017 KING of Fake News Trophy winner.” The tweet also held a clip-art looking trophy with “King of Fake News” written on it.
Rate the most Fake News stories of 2017 to help us crown the 2017 KING of Fake News Trophy winner.https://t.co/V8QJfDiBGr— GOP (@GOP) January 1, 2018
The link led to a Trump-sponsored poll to help them award the trophy. The poll asks people to rate several stories that were retracted or clarified by major news outlets in 2017 by calling them “fake news,” “faker news,” “fakest news,” or “other.” Ethical news organizations post updates. corrections, or retractions when they discover errors in reporting.
The three stories that people could vote on were from ABC News, CNN, and Time.
- ABC News “MISTAKENLY” reported that candidate Trump directed Michael Flynn to make contact with Russian officials before the election.
- CNN “MISTAKENLY” reported that candidate Donald Trump and his son Donald J. Trump, Jr. had access to hacked documents from WikiLeaks.
- TIME “MISTAKENLY” reported that President Trump removed a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Oval Office.
There is also an option to add a write-in “fake news” story to compete for the trophy.
While the GOP is clearly trying to tap into the anti-press fever Trump has cultivated since announcing he would run for president, it’s worth noting that the president’s favorite pollster, Rasmussen, has already found out who the public thinks should win the trophy: Fox News.
When Trump first floated out the idea of the trophy, he said Fox News should be left out of the consideration—but 40 percent of people polled thought the right-leaning cable news station should be awarded the “fake news trophy,” ahead of CNN (25 percent), MSNBC (nine percent), ABC (four percent), CBS (three percent), and NBC (two percent).
Around the same time Trump concocted the idea of a fake news trophy, Public Policy Polling found that people trusted major news outlets like the New York Times, ABC, NBC, CNN, and the Washington Post more than Trump.