President Donald Trump’s despised, President Obama, made history when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in his first year of office. It appears that Donald Trump will be making a very different kind of history with the first major award of his presidency.
The Committee to Protect Journalists responded to President Trump’s announcement that he would be holding a “Fake News Awards” ceremony by announcing their own awards ceremony for the Press Oppressors Awards Ceremony.
While it’s still unclear as to whether or not Trump’s event is actually going to take place, the Press Oppressors Awards Ceremony is very real – and our president took home the top prize.
The categories are Most Thin-skinned; Most Outrageous Use of Terror Laws Against the Press; Tightest Grip on Media; Biggest Backslider in Press Freedom; and Overall Achievement in Undermining Global Press Freedom.
Trump was given the overall achievement in Undermining Global Press Freedom, according to their website, for these reasons:
The United States, with its First Amendment protection for a free press, has long stood as a beacon for independent media around the world. While previous U.S. presidents have each criticized the press to some degree, they have also made public commitments to uphold its essential role in democracy, at home and abroad. Trump, by contrast, has consistently undermined domestic news outlets and declined to publicly raise freedom of the press with repressive leaders such as Xi [Jinping of China], [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan [of Turkey], and [Fateh] Sisi [of Egypt].
Authorities in China, Syria, and Russia have adopted Trump’s “fake news” epithet, and Erdoğan has applauded at least one of his verbal attacks on journalists. Under Trump’s administration, the Department of Justice has failed to commit to guidelines intended to protect journalists’ sources, and the State Department has proposed to cut funding for international organizations that help buttress international norms in support of free expression. As Trump and other Western powers fail to pressure the world’s most repressive leaders into improving the climate for press freedom, the number of journalists in prison globally is at a record high.
There is no doubt that the Trump administration bears enormous responsibility for the erosion of faith in the media by certain segments of the American people and hostility towards the press in general – and sending a clear and obvious signal to the despots and autocratic strongmen of the world that the President of the United States no longer cares about the First Amendment that our nation was founded on and that he swore to defend.