Trump (right) mocks reporter with disability  Serge Kovaleski (left).Trump (right) mocks reporter with disability Serge Kovaleski (left).
By JACQUELINE KUBANIA

The Committee to Protect Journalists has named President Donald Trump the winner of the dubious Overall Achievement in Undermining Global Press Freedom award in the inaugural edition of its Global Press Oppressors list.

The CPJ decided to name press oppressors following President Trump’s announcement last week that he would name media houses and journalists that he considers to be purveyors of fake news.

Trump broke the news on Twitter, of course, which has increasingly distinguished itself as his preferred method of communication with the outside world.

“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!” tweeted Trump.

He later moved the date to next Monday (January 15) and the world is waiting with bated breath.

JUMP THE GUN

But the CPJ has decided to jump the gun on the awards season and release its list a week before Trump.

The organization, whose core mandate is to agitate for media rights and freedoms, defines global Press Oppressors as “world leaders who use rhetoric, legal action, and censorship to try to silence their critics.”

Trump was the undisputed star of the list for winning the overall oppressor award, as well as bagging a runners-up position in the Most Thin-Skinned category.

Also named were fellow luminaries Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt, Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar, Andrzej Duda of Poland and Xi Jinping of China.

CPJ did not consider countries with no independent media such as North Korea and Eritrea.

“It’s staggering to see the extent to which some world leaders are so fearful of their critics and the truth,” said CPJ Advocacy Director Courtney Radsch, from Washington, D.C.

“At a time when the number of journalists in prison globally is at a record high the failure of President Donald Trump and other leaders to stand up for press freedom risks weakening democracy and human rights.”

CPJ is yet to announce whether it will hold a gala award dinner where its illustrious winners will receive their awards.

AUDIENCE FASCINATED

Trump has kept his Twitter audience fascinated with incessant attacks on what he refers to as Fake News media, a slur that seems to apply to journalists or media organizations that attempt to criticize him.

Media houses that have borne the brunt of Trump’s wrath include CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post for having the audacity to publish non-fawning coverage of Trump and his policies.

Interestingly, the Post’s Fact Checker data base, started to verify the veracity of Trump’s statements, so far indicates that Trump has made 1,950 false and misleading claims in the 347 days since he assumed office.

Below is the full list of Global Oppressors released by CPJ:

Most Thin-skinned

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey

Runner-Up: President Donald Trump, United States

Most Outrageous Use of Terror Laws Against the Press

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey

Runner-Up: President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt

Tightest Grip on Media*

President Xi Jinping, China

Runner-Up: President Vladimir Putin, Russia

*This category excludes countries with no independent media, such as North Korea and Eritrea.

Biggest Backslider in Press Freedom

State Counselor and de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar

Runner-Up: President Andrzej Duda, Poland

Overall Achievement in Undermining Global Press Freedom

President Donald Trump, United States

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