White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has insisted President Donald Trump’s promised Wednesday unveiling of his first annual Most Dishonest & Corrupt Media Awards of the Year is a “potential event” only. But Trump’s other official information-disseminator Fox & Friends, foamed over Wednesday morning with excitement about “tonight’s” awards announcements.
Meanwhile, the so-called Fakies already have provided something totally new in red-carpet walk-ups: Sen. Jeff Flake on the Senate floor, torching the President of the United States for his Josef Stalin-esque demonization of a constitutionally-protected free press.
“It is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies,” outgoing Arizona Republican Flake told fellow senators and TV viewers, on the day Trump has said he is going to hand out awards to the most dishonest media outlets, as judged by himself.
“It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase ‘enemy of the people,’ that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of ‘annihilating such individuals’ who disagreed with the supreme leader,” Flake warned.
Flake did not say who he was wearing. But he was perfectly coordinated with Arizona’s other senator, John McCain, who wrote a Fakes Award walk-up op-ed in Washington Post, demanding, “Mr. President, stop attacking the press.”
In his address, Flake listed Trump’s Hit Parade of Lies, including his fake inauguration crowd size boast, his having led the birther movement against President Obama, his insistence that Russian tampering with the election is a hoax.
These “pernicious fantasies” are “as destructive as they are inaccurate,” Flake said.
“To call the Russian matter a hoax, as the president has done so many times, is a falsehood,” Flake warned. “It is in the interest of every American to get to the bottom of this matter wherever the investigation leads. Ignoring or denying the truth about hostile Russian intentions towards the United States leaves us vulnerable to future attacks.”
Flake pointed out “there has not been a single cabinet level meeting regarding Russian interference and how to defend America against these attacks.”
The President, the senator said, is setting an example to dictators around the world in painting the media as “enemy of the state,” he added. “2018 must be the year in which the truth takes a stand against power that would weaken it,” he said.
Trump’s plans to announce “winners” of his first annual Most Dishonest and Corrupt Media Awards of the Year (aka Fakies) “beggars belief,” Flake said.
“The further society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it,” the senator reminded everyone, quoting George Orwell.
A couple hours before Flake’s address, Trump’s morning-show habit, Fox & Friends, frothed happily about the awards:
“The Fake News Awards are tonight!” gushed Brian Kilmeads. “Do we have an outfit picked out? Have we rented a tux?”
“I wonder if there’s gonna be trophies?” Steve Doocy asked. Ainsley Earhardt said she’d make popcorn.
They promised anyone who missed the trophy ceremony could catch up on their show Thursday morning.