It's an obvious stunt, a finger in the media's collective eye, and the president's fans will love it.
What's more, Donald Trump will get the press to cover it (which I guess I'm doing right now).
At a time when he's in open warfare with Steve Bannon, when he's under fire for telling Kim Jong-un that he has a bigger nuclear button, the former reality show star is going to turn the tables on an industry that honors good journalism with Pulitzers and Emmys.
As the president tweeted:
"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!"
But will the stories that are recognized be "fake" or just unfavorable to the White House? Does anyone doubt that such constant Trump targets as CNN and the New York Times will be among the "winners"?
Or that the recipients—except in cases where they've had to retract admittedly false stories—will wear an award as a badge of honor?
In fact, Stephen Colbert, the most anti-Trump of the anti-Trump late-night comics, is angling for a prize. He bought a Times Square billboard that says, in Oscars style, "For Your Consideration"—listing funny reasons why he should be honored. These include "Outstanding Achievement In Parroting George Soros' Talking Points" and "Least Breitbarty."
"Nothing gives you more credibility in the biz than Donald Trump calling you a liar," the "Late Show" host told his CBS viewers.
Trevor Noah's "Daily Show" also has a for-your-consideration graphic on its Twitter feed.
I don't think this wins the president a single vote or advances his agenda a single inch. It's more like that wrestling video in which Trump body-slams a guy with a CNN head--something that will excite his base, which already distrusts the press and loves the president’s media-bashing.
Trump thinks about his presidency as an hour-by-hour exercise in programming, which is clear from his Twitter feed and the way he drives the coverage to new topics—say, NFL protestors—when he wants to change the story line. Trump's media dishonesty awards will probably be a blip, but he'll undoubtedly enjoy every minute of coverage they generate.