“You are entitled to your own opinion but you are not entitled to your own facts.” The first time I heard this it was from master politician then-Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.). It was true then and it’s true now. However, it seems presidential counsellor Kellyanne Conway and press secretary Sean Spicer now have another opinion. Spicer simply lied in his first new briefing to the media and Conway labeled those lies as “alternative facts.” Add in President Trump’s lies about a media-invented fight with the intelligence community and you have a pretty good idea of what we are in for with Trump’s Orwellian government.
Spicer wasted no time in attacking the press. On the press’ coverage of Trump’s trade policy? His plan to attack terrorism? His tax plan? His Cabinet picks? No, no, no and no. He attacked them about reports regarding the size of the crowd at the inauguration—that crucial, world-changing, critical fact about crowd size.
Ok, the inaccurate tweet about the MLK bust being removed was indeed, egregious. But there is no evidence the reporter knew it was inaccurate or in any way purposely put out false information (that seems to be the purview of the new president.
Secondly, Spicer contradicted himself in the space of a few sentences. He first said the National Park Service does not put out crowd estimate numbers. He then stated as fact that the Trump inauguration was the best attended in history, “period.”
The entire crowd-size-reporting-is-crucial press briefing debacle was exacerbated by Conway on “Meet the Press.”
“Alternative facts are not facts. They’re falsehoods.” I am not a huge fan of Chuck Todd but I applaud him for not backing down and letting Conway off the hook.
As a former news director and spokesman, I had a sort of reluctant admiration for Spicer during the campaign (Conway not so much). He handled very difficult topics and did his best to clean up after his not-easily-cleaned-up-after boss. But he never straight out lied.
It would be very sad of Spicer is going to spend his time in the Trump administration spewing alt-facts.