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United States: The Newseum draws flak for selling `Fake News` t-shirts

News Agencies | Updated on: 4 August 2018, 13:39 IST

The Newseum, an unusual museum which aims to increase the visitors' understanding of the significance of a free press and the First Amendment, is now selling merchandise products with United States President Donald Trump's libellous slogans like "Fake News" on t-shirts and "Make America Great Again" on hats.

According to CNN, the Newseum's online portal has also displayed long-sleeved shirts having President Trump's much-loved description about the media, that is, "You Are Very Fake News" for $24.99. The organisation is also selling clothes printed with images of an American flag and the locution "great again" underneath.

This move by America's first press museum, which features scores of journalists from across the globe who have been killed while reporting, is facing immense criticism from country's renowned personalities for echoing with Trump's contention of media.

Taking to his Twitter handle, the host of The Daily podcast at The New York Times, Michael Barbaro, criticised the organization and wrote, "[Y]ou exist to honour, examine and protect the news media, not embrace the bywords by which others seek to undermine it."

Responding to the criticism, the museum's spokesperson, Sonya Gavanka said, "Fake news is a word that is in our popular culture now and this is intended to be a 'satirical rebuke' and appears in our store with T-shirts that include a variety of other 'tongue-in-cheek' sayings."

"The mission of the Newseum is to champion freedom of the press along with all the freedoms of the First Amendment, so being a place where people of different viewpoints feel welcome is very important. All the merchandise in our store goes through a vetting process. Of course, we're well aware of the political temperature in the country, but we will continue to be a nonpartisan organization that champions the rights of all to free speech," Gavanka added.

The 643,000-square-foot Newseum has as many as fifteen theaters and fifteen galleries. In one of its galleries, the organisation displays daily front pages of eighty printed publication of foreign countries. Other remaining galleries give thorough information about the topics such as First Amendment, world press freedom, news history, the September 11 attacks, and the history of the Internet, TV, and radio.

The Newseum was first opened in Rosslyn, Virginia, on April 18, 1997, before being later shifted to the current location on April 11, 2008.


First published: 4 August 2018, 13:39 IST