On Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, President Donald J. Trump tweeted his long-awaited, highly anticipated, super-hyped "Fake News Awards." The internet collectively pounced and eagerly clicked the link in his tweet to see who the winners were.
Earlier this month, the president teased that he was going to present the awards a few days late. "The interest in, and importance of, these awards is far greater than anyone could have anticipated!" he claimed.
Except...the awards posted Wednesday on GOP.com weren't viewable. Instead, hordes of people got a 404 Error page.
"Don't worry, we're making it great again," the error message on the Republican National Committee website read.
Others landed on a big, white blank page with a message that said the site was temporarily offline.
People had some ideas on how to fix it.
But after 30 minutes, the site was still down. Sad!
And they were super let down that this monumental event in American history was a 404 Error.
Not to worry, though. Thanks to internet caching, the initial publication of the list was preserved. There were 11 awards total. And the winners??
CNN led with four awards, including one for a story on Trump feeding fish while visiting Japan, and the New York Times scored two.
ABC, Time, the Washington Post, and Newsweek each received one.
People also started tweeting screenshots and lists themselves, since the official site of the Republican Party was broken.
Journalists noted, however, that the recipients had publicly issued corrections or faced repercussions for the articles that the president deemed "fake."
(Apparently, though, the awards ceremony was super classy).
With all the drama, people were "sad how politicized the Fake News Awards have become..."
All the mainstream media attention made them so "commercial," one Twitter user said.
Others thought the whole thing was a sick plot twist in this crazy reality TV show we all must be living in.
Or that maybe the blank screen/error page was really what we were supposed to see. "Maybe that's the lesson. Maybe that's what we're supposed to take from this," someone mused.
In 2013, Trump had this advice on how to fix a "complex website" that is broken: "Blow it up and start all over again-then sue the culprits and use the proper team!"
More than 40 minutes after the president tweeted the awards list, GOP.com was still down. The party then addressed the crash in a tweet, saying: "Traffic is off the charts. Come back soon."
After 90 minutes, the site was still a completely blank screen. Big, if true.
Finally, after nearly three hours, the page loaded, which showed "The Highly-Anticipated 2017 Fake News Awards" was a blog post.
A source close to the Republican National Committee expressed dismay that the party would participate in the spectacle.
"The RNC has become the dumpster for misplaced shit that’s too crazy for the actual White House," the person told BuzzFeed News.
Brianna Sacks is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Brianna Sacks at email@example.com.
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