Why this lie is important

Jan 22, 2017 16:29

Yesterday, press secretary Sean Spicer had this to say to the press: (I am copying this from The Atlantic)

Yesterday, at a time when our nation and the world was watching the peaceful transition of power and, as the president said, the transition and the balance of power from Washington to the citizens of the United States, some members of the media were engaged in deliberately false reporting,” he charged.

He then went on at length, attacking reporters, particularly one from The New York Times, for tweeting photographs comparing the size of the crowd at Friday’s inauguration unfavorably with Barack Obama’s first inauguration. (That image was retweeted from the National Park Service’s account, prompting a brief Twitter freeze at the Interior Department.)

“Inaccurate numbers involving crowd size were also tweeted,” Spicer continued, because the NPS did not count. He incorrectly characterized ridership statistics provided by WMATA, D.C.’s transit authority.

Then came the big whopper: “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration-period-both in person and around the globe.”

Spicer’s statement required dismissing all available evidence: ridership count, eyewitness testimony, independent crowd-counts, and Nielsen television ratings.

And then Kellyanne Conway appeared on Meet the Press today, speaking to Chuck Todd:

“The presidency is about choices. I’m curious why President Trump chose yesterday to send out his press secretary to essentially litigate a provable falsehood when it comes to a small and petty thing like inaugural crowd size,” Todd asked. Conway first tried to deflect, saying, “I don’t think presidents are judged by crowd sizes, they’re judged by accomplishments.” Fair enough, Todd said-so why lie?

“You’re saying it’s a falsehood, and Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts,” Conway responded.

Todd was flabbergasted by the Orwellian turn of phrase: “Alternative fact are not facts. They’re falsehoods.”

This is how dictatorships operate. It doesn't matter what your eyes and ears tell you. It doesn't matter what experts say. It doesn't matter what mainstream media reports. All that matters is the "truth" as Trump sees it. And if anyone doesn't find this terrifying, I really want to know why.


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