The Boston Globe’s Deputy Washington Bureau Chief, Matt Viser, expressed his disgust that the Newseum in Washington, DC is now selling t-shirts that say “You Are Very Fake News.” Viser pontificated that, “this t-shirt doesn’t belong anywhere,” but he should be informed him that similar t-shirts are being sold at numerous kiosks around the capital, and even in historic Union Station.
“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,” Viser declared.
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. https://t.co/7ecmjcGOyq pic.twitter.com/AhEgRVA7wE— Matt Viser (@mviser) August 3, 2018
The article he links to details how the Newseum actually sells several hats and tee shirts with catchphrases from the president saying things such as “Make America Great Again” and “You are very fake news.”
But, when asked if these items were at all questionable for a museum celebrating the First Amendment, the Newseum said, “We recognize why you’re asking the question. 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,” dismissing the concern altogether.
Liberal members of the media, however, were not satisfied with this response.
I won't be visiting @Newseum ever again. I won't be recommending it to visitors, and I will not be taking my family and friends there ever again.— Valerie Insinna (@ValerieInsinna) August 3, 2018
Of course, one could say it is just as concerning that Viser and the rest think they can tell the 501 C3 “public charity funded by generous individuals, corporations and foundations, including its principal funder, the Freedom Forum” what to sell or not to sell in its stores.
That thought seems to have been missed by Viser and the rest. They argue that the shirt should not be sold anywhere. But, plenty of others like it can be found around the city. This includes the Union General store in Union Station which is selling a shirt mocking CNN. The t-shirt uses a similar type font to the outlet's logo and says “Fake News Network.”
It all seems a little silly to get upset about this. As Buzzfeed's Tom Gara points out, isn't there something better for these journalists to do on a summer Friday evening?
"Mad at the Newseum Gift Shop" is an all time low for 6pm Summer Friday Twitter— Tom Gara (@tomgara) August 3, 2018