In a release posted to its site Saturday, the Newseum announced that it would no longer sell "You Are Very Fake News" shirts.
"We made a mistake and we apologize," the release states. "A free press is an essential part of our democracy and journalists are not the enemy of the people."
The Newseum, a non-profit, interactive museum in the heart of Washington, D.C., came under fire Friday after Poynter.org published a story in which it noted that the Newseum was selling "You Are Very Fake News" T-shirts in its web store.
Journalists were not pleased.
— Margaret Sullivan (@Sulliview) August 3, 2018
.@Newseum has a memorial to journalists killed while reporting. So why are they selling “fake news” shirts? It’s one thing to sell political paraphernalia … it’s another to promote a phrase authoritarian regimes around the world use to stop a free press https://t.co/j30qEyttmJ
— Hadas Gold (@Hadas_Gold) August 3, 2018
The Newseum is funded by Networks and their parent companies, and philanthropic orgs—all with employees who devote their lives and livelihoods to stand for everything that is *not* fake news. This is unwise and I encourage the Newseum to rethink this. It’s an insult. https://t.co/al2SJQ5iH5
— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) August 3, 2018
The Newseum says this is about championing "free speech." The more cynical read: The museum is deep in debt, strapped for cash, and tourists like these trinkets https://t.co/owVMLS3xSb
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) August 3, 2018
The museum's release, however, stated that it would continue to carry other Trump-related items.
"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," it stated.
You can read the original Poynter.org story here.