Newseum removes 'fake news' t-shirts from shop
WASHINGTON - The Newseum has now announced that it will no longer carry t-shirts that say "Fake News" from its gift shop and online.
This comes after the museum saw an outcry from journalists following a Poynter Institute report that brought the merchandise to light. The popular museum in Washington, DC, has various exhibits on the history of news, media, and various historic events through the eyes of the press.
According to the Newseum’s website, its mission “is to increase public understanding of the importance of a free press and the First Amendment.”
The shirts which said "You are fake news," referencing a comment from President Trump to CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta, were taken down from the website.
In a statement released on Saturday, the Newseum said "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."
Trump has often called various media outlets "Fake News," and "the enemy of the people," especially when asking questions or reporting information that does not portray the president in a positive light.
Sonya Gavankar, the director of public relations for the Newseum, explained to Poynter that the interactive news museum encourages free speech.
“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,” Gavankar said.
The revelation saw an outcry from reporters, media professionals and other supporters of the Newseum.
In announcing the removal of the "Fake News" merchandise, the Newseum said it still supports the freedom of speech and continues to make other Trump merchandise available, including "Make America Great Again" hats and a Trump t-shirt.
"As an organization that celebrates the rights of people from all political spectrums to express themselves freely, we’ve historically made all types of political merchandise available for our guests to purchase. That has included former and current presidential slogans and imagery and merchandise from all political parties. We continue to do so in celebration of freedom of speech."