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Saturday, August 04, 2018

Newseum caves to anti-free speech protests

Faced with competition from online sites, mainstream media began labelling those sites Fake News, but since then the term has bit the cable channels and newspapers in the seat.

Chris Cuomo of CNN said, "I see being called Fake News as the equivalent of the N-word for journalists, the equivalent of calling an Italian any of the ugly words that people have for that ethnicity."

In Washington, there is a museum dedicated to newspapers called the Newseum. I visited it 18 years ago. It is as awful as it sounds.

To make a few bucks, the Newseum began selling T-shirts with the words, "You Are Very Fake News" on them in CNN typeface. That is a direct quote about CNN from President Trump.

It also began selling Trump gear.

The Poynter Institute -- a tax-exempt arm of the tax-exempt company that owns the Tampa Bay Times of PolitiFact infamy -- demanded to know how this could be.

Sonya Gavankar, director of public relations for the Newseum, said in an email, "We recognize why you’re asking the question.

"As a nonpartisan organization, people with differing viewpoints feel comfortable visiting the Newseum, and one of our greatest strengths is that we’re champions not only of a free press but also of free speech.

"The MAGA hat and the FBI hat are two of our best-selling items."

Poynter quoted an unnamed reporter who said, "I go to the Newseum a lot and actually saw these T-shirts previously. I remember commenting to my friend how inappropriate I thought it was to sell this anti-press material at a museum that celebrates our industry.

"Fake News is a phrase that undercuts our profession and the hard-working journalists who practice the craft. Selling clothing that is blatantly anti-press further promotes hatred towards journalists."

What really undercuts the "profession" is quoting people anonymously to counter something another person says on the record.

The fellow who wrote the article described himself as, "Daniel Funke covers fact-checking, online misinformation and Fake News for the International Fact-Checking Network at The Poynter Institute."

Somehow I get the feeling he is not interested in CNN's follies.

Speaking of CNN, one of Funke's objections was the sale of Make America Great Again hats, which he said are political.

In its story on Newseumgate, CNN pointed out, "The Newseum also sells MAGA hats and other Trump paraphernalia (as it offered Obama gear while he was in office) but the Fake News T-shirt rankled reporters on Friday."

The museum is in Washington, which attracts supporters of whoever the president is as tourists, who are the target audience of the gift shop.

But fear not, America. The Newseum's management has seen the light. Visitors will be protected from T shirts that mock the press.

The Hill reported, "The directors of the Newseum in Washington, D.C. have apologized and taken down shirts bearing the slogan "you are fake news" after widespread public backlash.

"A statement Saturday on the Newseum's website said that the shirt would be removed from the museum's gift shop and online store, and apologized for selling a shirt bearing the insult popularized by President Trump at members of the White House press corps."

The statement from the Newseum said, "The Newseum has removed the You Are Very Fake News t-shirts from the gift shop and online. We made a mistake and we apologize. A free press is an essential part of our democracy and journalists are not the enemy of the people."

That's good to know that the press does not think it is the enemy of the people.

Sean Davis of The Federalist tweeted, "A cynic might think they deliberately waited until the shirts sold out before they 'changed' their minds on the shirts, which would actually be pretty hilarious.

Glenn Reynolds tweeted, "Way to stand up for free speech."

I just think it shows the humorlessness of the drones churning out anti-Trump propaganda.

Remember when Hillary called us a basket of deplorables?

Many of us laughed and added deplorable to our Twitter handles.

This is from a post I wrote at the time:
Her phrase became a rallying point for the Deplorables.
Goofy phrase. It rhymes with Adorables.
Deplorables sounds like something your granny would call your friends when you were a teenager. Hooligans. Ne'er-do-wells. Deplorables. Unfit for for liberal society. Which we are and we quite well like it. That is why we are for Trump. This is Delta House, dammit. She's Dean Wormer threatening to notify our draft boards.
I suggest those in the news trade get the sticks out of their derrieres and have fun with the phrase Fake News.


Please enjoy my books in paperback and on Kindle.

Trump the Press covers the nomination.

Trump the Establishment covers the election.

Fake News Follies of 2017 covers his first year as president.

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  1. “Remember when Hillary called us a basket of deplorables?”

    This from the woman whose resume reads like a police blotter.

  2. Newseum. Rhymes with Mausoleum.

    -Mikey NTH

  3. I am sure it won’t be long until the Newseum removes the PDJT items and replaces
    Them with the left over Sotero items and the never before displayed Rodham items that they had ordered when they knew she would win the election.

    I don’t plan on ever going. Back to Washington, but if I do, I know one place I won’t be visiting. The only place I really loved foo fro was the National Archives to see the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    1. Any Smithsonian Museum is worth the visit.

      In my non-humble opinion.

      -Mikey NTH

    2. If they were looking for profit, they'd include Trump stuff, Hillary stuff, and Obama stuff. For Pete's sake, a sale is a sale.

    3. Journalism, as it is taught today, is just so much intellectual finger-painting.

  4. Christopher Akehurst:
    “'Racist’, ‘sexist’ and ‘phobia’, the last one with various prefixes, are the lexical building blocks of leftist discourse. Three little words and their variants, but eliminate them from the vocabulary and the Left would have nothing much to say. It would have only its riots and assaults to make its voice heard and express what passes for its opinions.

    But since those words do exist, they are played for all they are worth as a means of shouting down non-leftists. This means that social problems that the Left refuses to recognise as such, usually because they suit its purposes, go undebated, because to discuss them is invariably labelled ‘racist’, ‘sexist’ or something-phobic. It’s like the Mafia’s omertà. Enormous social damage is being done in this way right under our noses...“


  5. David Burge

    Aug 3

    Iowahawk nailed it:

    "Put me in charge of the Newseum gift shop, I'll add MAGA magic beans and Qanon frisbees and LOCK HER UP plastic handcuffs, I'll have that dump back in the black in 3 weeks."

    - Elric

  6. "The directors of the Newseum in Washington, D.C. have apologized and taken down shirts bearing the slogan "you are fake news" after widespread public backlash.

    after widespread fake news reporters' backlash. FIFY - GOC

  7. This is the absolutely juvenile bullshyte that flows today like deranged diarrhea from our supposed 4th state. Wunnerful!

  8. ''Chris Cuomo of CNN said, "I see being called Fake News as the equivalent of the N-word for journalists...''

    so, is it racist to lynch one?

  9. Imagine working at the Newseum and living in a place that votes overwhelmingly Democrat. Now imagine that the word has gone out about the Newseum. Suddenly all your friends and family not only stop following you on social media, but they block you. You start getting anonymous calls for people who curse at you and make threats.

    Imagine if every Democrat in the country knew your name and was determined to make your life a living hell. The onslaught is sudden, vicious and without mercy. Your spouse and kids are targets too.

    This is the modern equivalent of the Spanish Inquisition. Some people who were accused were told to confess and repent and their lives would be spared. Of course they would have to name some of the other heretics first. Rat out a few people, they get arrested and you go free. Many of them took that offer.

    It was the people with principles that refused to confess to something they didn't do, or to make up lies about others. Those are the people who were tortured and burned at the stake.

  10. At the Newseum freedom of speech stops at the door of the gift shop.

  11. "I see being called Fake News as...the equivalent of calling an Italian any of the ugly words that people have for that ethnicity."

    Really? 'Cos I see it as Coumo's Crooked Journalism playing the Victim Card, just as Mafia Bosses in the 70's claimed they victims of Italian-American discrimination.