“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!” the United States’ democratically elected commander-in-chief, Donald J. Trump, said Jan. 7. Well, said in a tweet, anyway.
As disappointed as we are that the awards are postponed — the suspense is, truly, killing us — we’d be remiss not to point out that the concept is flawed. Or, rather, it is in itself just one big, ugly flaw.
To be fair, we do not know who will be on our president’s list. But we doubt it’ll be people like Alex Jones, who claimed that there is water laced with chemicals that causes frogs to be homosexual. If we were betting people, we’d put our chips on him naming outlets like the New York Times or the Washington Post, who he’s criticized as fake news in previous tweet storms. He’s using his presidency not only to give Twitter new life as a social media platform, but to jam what he thinks is the last nail into journalism’s coffin.
The Triangle is a small, independently-funded publication, and we’ll have stuck it out for 92 years this February. You can’t kill news, and you definitely can’t kill it in 140 characters.
One can’t help but wonder why he spends so much time pushing such an outlandish premise. Time that he could be spending deescalating the mounting nuclear tension between our country of residence and North Korea, or anything else on a long list of issues that require attention. Unless, of course, that’s the whole point — to keep our attention firmly trained on what doesn’t matter.
We’re not conspiracy theorists. Alex Jones has that market cornered. We can’t say whether or not Trump is tweeting from the heart or trying to draw our focus from issues of national importance. Either way, it’s a waste of time — his and ours.
So on Jan. 17, we will not be donning our ballgowns, tuxedos and 1950’s newsboy caps, to wait on baited breath to see if we are graced with a spot on President Trump’s fake news naughty list. We will not be anxiously refreshing Twitter in our swiveling chairs. Instead we will be watching, listening and choosing not to be distracted by a small man’s big stunts.