The Committee to Protect Journalists credited President Donald Trump with the “Overall Achievement in Undermining Global Press Freedom” in its “Press Oppressors” awards Monday.
The event was reportedly organized in response to Trump’s plan to bestow “Fake News” awards, which he claims has generated “far greater [interest] than anyone could have anticipated.”
The Fake News Awards, those going to the most corrupt & biased of the Mainstream Media, will be presented to the losers on Wednesday, January 17th, rather than this coming Monday. The interest in, and importance of, these awards is far greater than anyone could have anticipated!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2018
“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,” the committee wrote of Trump.
“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], [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan, and [Abdel Fattah al-] Sisi,” they continued.
Trump was awarded the prize above the likes of leaders in China, Iran, North Korea, and Cuba, all of which allow little to no freedom for journalists.
The CPJ also awarded Trump the runner-up prize in the “Most Thin-skinned” category, losing out to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who imprisoned the highest number of journalists worldwide in 2017.
Other leaders that actually instigated serious press crackdowns in 2017 include Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro.
According to Amnesty International, Egyptian authorities are currently “shifting” their onslaught against media freedom to the digital sphere,” through the blocking of dozens of news websites overly critical of the government, while Venezuela has continued to shut down a number of television stations critical of the socialist regime.
Since he ran for office in 2015, Trump has rallied against the mainstream media for what he deems to be biased and unfair coverage, even going so far as describing it as the “enemy of the American people.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2017
However, a Harvard study in May documented the networks’ anti-Trump bias and found that while the President dominated news coverage in his first 100 days, coverage was almost entirely negative — with 93 percent of CNN’s reporting critical of the Trump administration. Furthermore, polls have repeatedly shown that the majority of Americans side with Trump on the issues.
“He [Trump] regularly attacks outlets and individual journalists on Twitter and in speeches, calling them ‘sad,’ ‘failing,’ or ‘garbage,’” the committee added. “Since declaring his presidential candidacy in 2015, Trump has posted about 1,000 tweets critical of the press.”