Journalists have been upset over this T-shirt, on sale at a Washington media museum. Picture: Supplied
Journalists have been upset over this T-shirt, on sale at a Washington media museum. Picture: Supplied

‘Fake news’ T-shirts anger journos

BOWING to pressure from journalists who complained about it stocking Trump-related merchandise, a museum in Washington, DC on SUNDAY said it would no longer sell T-shirts that say "You Are Very Fake News."

The Newseum - which claims to celebrate the role and history of the press in America - says it has removed the shirts from its gift shop and online store, and issued a public apology and show of support for members of the media.

"We made a mistake and we apologise," the organisation said in a news release, the Hill reported. "A free press is an essential part of our democracy and journalists are not the enemy of the people."

The statement marked a reversal from a previous Newseum position, in which the museum said it offered the "Fake News" shirts and other items out of respect for conflicting viewpoints.

 

 

 

Sarah Sanders refused to denounce Donald Trump’s claim. Picture: AP
Sarah Sanders refused to denounce Donald Trump’s claim. Picture: AP

Newseum spokeswoman Sonya Gavankar had defended the merchandise to Poynter.org, a website for a media think tank, saying the museum encourages an environment of free expression.

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

But members of the free press weren't buying it.

The T-shirt debacle followed a heated exchange earlier this week where journalists asked White House press secretary Sarah Sanders to declare that the media is not the "enemy of the people," a position espoused by President Trump, who has also helped popularise the term "fake news."

CNN journalist Jim Acosta has been on the receiving end of much of the Trump administration’s vitriol. Picture: AP
CNN journalist Jim Acosta has been on the receiving end of much of the Trump administration’s vitriol. Picture: AP

The mission of Newseum, a non-profit enterprise, is to "increase public understanding of the importance of a free press and the First Amendment," according to its website.

While the Newseum will no longer sell the "fake news" shirts, it told FOX5 DC that it will continue carrying other Trump-related merchandise, including the top-selling "Make America Great Again" hats.

 

This story was originally published on Fox News and is reprinted with permission.