The Newseum on Saturday pulled the sale of a T-shirt bearing the message “you are very fake news” following an online backlash against the merchandising of the slogan frequently employed by President Donald Trump to undermine journalists’ work.
“The Newseum has removed the “You Are Very Fake News” T-shirts from the gift shop and online,” a statement posted on the media-focused museum’s website read. “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.”
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The Washington, D.C., museum faced intense criticism on Friday after Poynter first reported that it was selling the “fake news” t-shirt and other items related to Trump. The online store still has live listings for other Trump-related items, including a “Make America Great Again” hat and a “Great Again” T-shirt.
“This T-shirt doesn’t belong anywhere. It particularly doesn’t belong at the @Newseum, a place that celebrates journalism and has the First Amendment etched in stone outside its building,” Matt Viser, the Boston Globe’s deputy Washington bureau chief, wrote on Twitter about the “fake news” shirt.
Emily Kuhn, CNN’s director of communications, added: “. @Newseum, you know better.”
The Newseum, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, says it is dedicated to increasing “the public understanding of the importance of a free press and the First Amendment.”
Its galleries and collections are sponsored by a number of news organizations, including NBC, ABC, Bloomberg and The New York Times, and feature exhibits from some of the oldest newspapers to a section of the Berlin Wall and a piece of an antenna that stood atop the North Tower of the World Trade Center before the September 11th attacks.
Trump has repeatedly attacked journalists, sometimes naming specific reporters or news organizations, since he began his presidential campaign in 2015, often calling the media an “enemy of the people.”
In his latest public broadside Thursday evening during a rally in Pennsylvania, Trump complained about a number of news stories and at one point said journalists “make up stories,” adding that the news media is “fake, fake, disgusting news.”