President Donald Trump has a new idea for a reality competition involving journalism, and reactions have ranged from savage mockery to solemn statements about the First Amendment.
The media-bashing POTUS tweeted on Monday morning that all the major news networks, along with his favorite cable news nemesis CNN, should be judged on how "dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted" their coverage of him has been. Trump-friendly Fox News would be allowed to sit out this "contest" entirely, while the worst offender would be given a "Fake News Trophy."
(The President did not offer details on whether the contest would be determined by himself alone or if his allies at Fox News and Brietbart would participate in the judging process.)
We should have a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me). They are all bad. Winner to receive the FAKE NEWS TROPHY!
This is the latest in a never-ending feud between Trump and the media. Since his election in November 2016, Trump has branded any negative news coverage of himself as "fake news," called the media "the enemy of the American people," and even suggested that networks critical of his presidency should have their licenses revoked.
Many critics reacted to the tweet with mockery -- in particular, to Trump declaring himself "your favorite President" for the second time in a little over a week. "That's a tad presumptuous, no?" tweeted actor Elijah Wood.
Meanwhile, journalists (especially those from CNN) who are required by profession to take all of the president's tweets seriously warned against the continuing threat to freedom of speech. "Lest we forget: American presidents normally STAND UP for press freedom around the world," CNN's Brian Stelter remarked.
Here's how more media figures reacted to Trump's latest hit on their profession:
We should have a contest as to which of the US Presidents, plus his children, in-laws and staff, is the most dishonest, corrupt, and/or distorted in their dealings w/an international foe committed to attacking US democracy. https://t.co/19ucphY7my
Instead of attacking CNN, which is just one of many American news outlets, I wish POTUS would stand up for a free press globally where there are often few independent news outlets to hold power accountable.
Your idea for a FAKE NEWS CONTEST is sheer genius, sir. Presidential, dignified & a sure-fire ratings-getter! Very smart to specify exactly who our "favorite President" is, considering the 44 I thought of at first. Wishing you continued "success"❤️ mh #MAGA https://t.co/JgQQadG3A6
Donald-This is one of the most insanely idiotic things I've ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent tweet were you even close to a rational thought. Everyone is now dumber for having read this. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul. #TrumpResign https://t.co/u3iRIaNP4t