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Trump’s Fake News Awards Will Be Following Footsteps of Venezuela’s Maduro

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks at the closing ceremony of the XVI Political Council of the Bolivarian Alliance for the People of Our Americas (ALBA) at the Convention Palace in Havana, on December 14, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / YAMIL LAGE
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks at the closing ceremony of the XVI Political Council of the Bolivarian Alliance for the People of Our Americas (ALBA) at the Convention Palace in Havana, on December 14, 2017.
YAMIL LAGE/Getty Images

When President Donald Trump gives out his much-anticipated “Most Dishonest and Corrupt Media Awards” on Monday, he won’t be as much of a trailblazer as he undoubtedly hope. Turns out, another leader in the hemisphere who Trump isn’t too fond of had his own version of dishonest media awards on Friday. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, whose policies have thrown his country into economic and political chaos, said U.S.-based media outlets produced 3,880 negative stories about Venezuela last year.

Venezuela’s government has pretty much stopped publishing all kinds of essential economic data, including poverty and inflation, but it put in the time and effort to make a detailed chart laying out the media outlets with the most negative stories about the South American nation where children are literally dying of hunger.

The top slot went to Bloomberg, followed by Breitbart, the Miami Herald, and the Washington Post. Fox, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, CNN, and NPR also made the cut. The document that Maduro displayed on television characterized the Miami Herald as the “mouthpiece for the Florida lobby” and the Washington Post as “aligned with the policies of the State Department.”

“It is war propaganda,” Maduro said, “without a doubt, a media war.”

Jim Wyss, the Miami Herald’s Andes correspondent took to Twitter to point out he has a small problem reporting good news out of Venezuela: he isn’t allowed into the country. “If only they would let me in the country I might be able to hunt down some happy news,” Wyss wrote.

A day after Maduro laid out the culprits of the negative news stories about Venezuela, the country’s communications minister, Jorge Rodríguez, said there was a “psychological war against the Venezuelan people” going on. Rodríguez called on international news agencies to “respect the peace” in the country. “The Venezuelan people have not done anything against you,” he said.

Update at 5:30 p.m.: Trump said on Sunday afternoon that he was postponing the “fake news awards” to Jan. 17 rather than Monday. “The interest in, and importance of, these awards is far greater than anyone could have anticipated!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

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