On Monday, Donald Trump joined a prestigious group of men and women from several nations with a global reputation for oppression of the press. The Committee to Protect Journalists announced its annual awards for those global dictators and regime leaders who generally come in last when it comes to freedom of speech and the press.

For his yearlong efforts to undermine the American media and cast doubt with his claims of “fake news,” the Committee named Trump as the winner of the Overall Achievement in Undermining Global Press Freedom award. Trump, and a half-dozen other notable Press Oppressors, earned awards for fierce and frequent attacks on the media, journalists, and the democratic principle of a free press.

The awards arrived on a day when Trump himself was slated to announce his “Fake News Awards.” However, he tweeted on Sunday that the awards program — conceived, produced, hosted, and brought to you by Trump’s dementia addled brain — had been rescheduled. Trump offered no reason for the sudden cancellation of the most anticipated awards of the year, but it may have been due in part to a passing golf ball or Big Mac.

Trump has been crowing about his awards for two weeks now, and based on his history and being named the top press oppressor in the world, the United States is approaching ominous times. The teasers for Trump’s awards — his many early morning half-rational tweets — could easily lead any democratic and freedom loving American to suspect the worst.

Will January 17, 2018 be the day that Donald Trump takes another bold step in his coup d’état? There is always a distinct possibility with the fire and fury of the current regime that America could wake up one morning to one broadcast news source. While mass torture has never been actively employed against the American public, forced viewing of Fox & Friends every day might be the very first instance.

Trump has been claiming the press is the enemy since the inception of his regime. He and his alternative fact-peddling associates have done their best to brainwash Americans into believing Trump and only Trump. If Trump tweeted tomorrow that the sky was orange, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders would raise her stink-eyebrow during the morning press briefing at any reporter who pointed to the blue sky and said, “But…”

Over the weekend, Trump raised a few eyebrows on his own by tweeting about what a “stable genius” he is. In the furor that followed on Twitter, an often-overlooked point is that Trump belies his self-proclaimed genius by not recognizing the intelligence that exists across the United States. He consistently and without regard, demeans and insults intelligent people who have rational opinions and make good choices.

A real genius understands, accepts, and empowers the collective intelligence of all people because there is a humanitarian aspect to true genius. If Trump is so interested in handing out awards, he should be focusing on the Fake Genius awards and give himself one.

World News - December 5, 2016
The Trump Effect has inspired and encouraged a wide range of violence against journalists. Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters/ZUMA Press

In naming Trump the top press oppressor in the world, the Committee to Protect Journalists offered a statement on its top award. “Trump 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. He regularly attacks outlets and individual journalists on Twitter and in speeches, calling them ‘sad,’ ‘failing,’ or ‘garbage.’”

The committee cited about 1,000 tweets that Trump has posted since 2015 in which he is dangerously critical of the press. They also awarded Trump as the runner-up of the Most Thin-skinned Award for his attacks in response to any criticism and lack of coverage.

With only a week to go until the postponed awards, America’s journalists are waiting with baited breath to find out who will be named the worst of the worst by Trump. Based on Trump’s record, performance, and mental state, it is likely that the winner of the Trump award for worst fake media will suffer a ratings spike that will increase ad revenue. A Trump award may even turn out to be a precursor to something even worse…like a Pulitzer Prize.

 

Featured Image: cpj.org

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