President Donald Trump Wins 'Bigly' At the Press Oppressors Awards

In response to President Donald Trump’s announcement that he was planning a “fake news” awards ceremony, the Committee to Protect Journalists started their own awards ceremony to recognize world leaders who have “gone out of their way to attack the press and undermine the norms that support freedom of the media.”

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.

The winner of the Most Thin-Skinned was President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, who has charged journalists, news outlets and social media users for insulting him, other Turkish leaders or “Turkishness” in general, according to the committee. In 2016, there were more than 45,000 cases in the Turkish judicial system dealing with insulting the president or the Turkish government. The runner-up for this category was Trump, for threatening to “open-up” U.S. libel laws, sue news outlets and review broadcast licenses.

Erdogan was also the winner of the Most Outrageous Use of Terror Laws Against the Press for leading a country that has jailed at least 73 journalists. The runner-up was President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt for imprisoning nearly 20 journalists and charging over a dozen more.

01_05_Erdogan_Trump President Donald Trump (right) reaches to shake Turkey's President Tayyip Erdoğan's (left) hand before a meeting at the Palace Hotel during the 72nd United Nations General Assembly on September 21, 2017, in New York City. Getty Images

The winner of the Tightest Grip on Media was President Xi Jinping of China for using a combination of censorship and internet control, in a country that is considered of the world’s worst jailers of the press, the committee reported. The runner-up was Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has "all but eradicated" independent media.

The winner of the Biggest Backslider in Press Freedom was State Counselor and de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar. When her party took power in 2016, she pardoned journalists—but the legal framework that has long censored media still exists, the committee argued. The runner-up was President Andrzej Duda of Poland, whose government has "taken direct control of public media."

Finally, Trump was the winner of Overall Achievement in Undermining Global Press Freedom.

“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. “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.”

On January 2, Trump tweeted that he planned to give awards to the most dishonest and corrupt members of the media on Monday at 5 p.m. “I will be announcing THE MOST DISHONEST & CORRUPT MEDIA AWARDS OF THE YEAR on Monday at 5:00 o’clock. Subjects will cover Dishonesty & Bad Reporting in various categories from the Fake News Media. Stay tuned!”

Trump later said that Monday was just too soon.

“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!”