Fake news. Most Americans have likely heard President Donald Trump continue to use this phrase to denounce the media during his rallies and other public appearances. However, the Newseum in the nation’s capital is under fire over the controversial merchandise available for sale at its online store and gift shop.
Among the items that you can buy from the Newseum include a First Amendment hoodie, a men’s “Trust Me… I’m a reporter” t-shirt and a women’s “Empowered women empower women” t-shirt.
According to the Newseum’s website, its mission “is to increase public understanding of the importance of a free press and the First Amendment.”
However, some were surprised to learn that you can also purchase a “You are very fake news” long sleeved shirt for the sale price of $19.97, a red “Make America Great Again hat for $14.99 and an “Alternative Fact” t-shirt for $24.99 from the museum.
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.
Meanwhile, the reaction on Twitter to the Trump-related merchandise had many expressing that it was a bad idea.
Your "fake news" t-shirts aren't funny, @Newseum— Leigh Giangreco (@LeighGiangreco) August 3, 2018
They make a mockery of the reporters, whose names you have inscribed on your walls, who died for their vocation.
.@Newseum, as a reporter, you just lost my business.— Tara Copp (@TaraCopp) August 3, 2018
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