Sigh. It's not about "free speech." People can say "fake news," and the @Newseum can sell the shirt if it wants to. The fact that it's antithetical to the Newseum's mission is the issue. The baseball Hall of Fame doesn't sell "baseball sucks" shirts https://t.co/w7MQQayECs— Justin Fenton (@justin_fenton) August 4, 2018
“Fake news” is not a political argument that nicely balances, say, a “girl power” bracelet in the shop’s feminism section. It’s a cynical political strategy that reflects years of work performed by very well paid people whose goal was to paint the news media as a political faction — as well as a rallying cry for people who view newsgathering errors not as the inevitable result of human endeavor but as confirmation of malice. Calling someone “fake news” is a bad faith argument, not an invitation to discourse. And it has no business being in a museum as anything other than an exhibit.”
What to sell has always been a tricky question for museums and monuments, where tacky items can undercut serious exhibits. With a president as polarizing and unpopular in the polls as Trump, it’s a conundrum that occasionally pits profit against principles.