Alternative facts?

This podcast is not going to be a cheerleader for the Trump administration. I still believe that it’s going to be better, policy-wise, than a Clinton administration, but I’ll call out any nuttiness when it happens.

Such as when a spokesperson talks about “alternative facts”. Take a listen and see if you agree with my assessment.

Oh, and one other thing. Has any press secretary for a Democratic President ever been asked to take an oath of truth? Even when repeating the promise of “you can keep your doctor”? Yeah, well check out the videos below to find out.

Mentioned links:

ABC’s Jon Karl Tangles with WH’s Sean Spicer, Demands Spicer Adhere to Oath of Truth

Carney Tries To Rewrite Obama’s ‘Keep Your Doctor’ Promise

Nets Spend 12 Times More Coverage on Spicer Fib Flap vs Obamacare Order

Kellyanne Conway: WH Spokesman Gave ‘Alternative Facts’ on Inauguration Crowd

Twilight Zone: Dan Rather Scolds Kellyanne Conway Over ‘Alternate Facts’ Flub

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Show transcript

When Donald Trump was elected President … I was stunned. But after that, I knew that this podcast could not simply be his cheerleader. Conservatism is a philosophy, not a party. And while I figured that Trump would do more things I agreed with than not, the ratio of agree-vs-not was likely going to be far smaller than any other Republican in my memory. The good news is, the prediction is holding. The bad news is … the prediction is holding.

Take Kellyanne Conway … please. [rimshot] Now, as I noted in the Facebook group, if she was a Democrat, she’d be hailed as the first woman to ever head a successful Presidential campaign. Since she’s not, she wasn’t. Glass ceiling breaking is only worthy of mention when Democrats do it, apparently. But her 15 minutes of fame are up, at least for me, because of a phrase she used recently.

The subject of how many people attended or viewed Trump’s inauguration was something of a brouhaha in the first days of his administration. I have no doubt this was the media’s way of getting in an early dig at The Donald right from the start. Yes, Obama’s first inauguration had a huge, record-setting crowd. He was the first black US President; how could the crowd not be the largest so far? Whatever. But pointing that out was too much for Trump’s ego, apparently, and his press secretary, Sean Spicer, had to come out and give the White House press a dressing down on how “this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe”, and he backed it up with some dubious stats.

OK, let’s call him out on the stats. That’s fair game. But the story didn’t stop there. The media had to highlight this for days. While Trump was signing executive order to halt US funding of international abortions and limit the ObamaCare penalties, the media (and many of my Democratic Facebook friends, who were similarly distracted) was hung up on trivia. Yeah, Trump shouldn’t have been hung up on it either, but then that means the media, who has been telling us of the dangers of a petulant President, is just as petty as Trump. That’s a real feather in their collective caps. There’s some irony for ya’. And since it takes 2 to dominate the news cycle, the media did their part to allow their indignation to seep onto the front page. During the brouhaha, the networks spent 12 times more airtime on the Press Secretary’s stats than they did on the ObamaCare executive order.

In a subsequent meeting with Spicer, ABC’s Jon Karl prefaced his question with a request that Spicer swear an oath of truth.

[see Jon Karl video above]

If y’all can help me out here, has the press corps ever done that to a Democrat? I will say this; Jon Karl asked good questions of Obama’s Press Secretaries, too. He once asked Jay Carney if the promise of keeping your doctor under ObamaCare was still in play, and Carney spent the next 90 seconds saying, “Yes, but maybe No, but of course Yes.” I don’t recall asking for an oath of truth then.

OK, where were we? Oh yes, Kellyanne Conway!

So a day later, Ms. Conway is on Meet the Press, and Chuck Todd asks her the burning questions of our time. That is to say, he wanted her to discuss the crowd size brouhaha. Conway, trying to buttress the administration’s position and that of its official spokesman, tried to put the best spin on it that she could. Todd said that Spicer used falsehoods to make his point, and Conway came back with this, “You’re saying it’s a falsehood and Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that.”

[see Conway video above]

“Alternative facts.” Yes, she really said that. Did she mean to say “additional facts”? It doesn’t matter, and besides, there are stats that contradict what Spicer said, so he was simply wrong on some of them.  She did make a good point that the pool writer for the media reported that the bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. had been removed from the Oval Office, and that the report of that hit the wires to thousands of media outlets, and that it was entirely false. That’s a good point, but it does not excuse her. Other spokespersons have spun the truth until it no longer resembled anything recognizable. It does not excuse her. No spokesperson should ever have to explain “alternative facts”.

There are facts, and there are falsehoods. Now it is true that two people can take the same facts and come to different conclusions, but the facts are the same. Sorry, Kellyanne; if you haven’t jumped the shark yet, you’re at least on the ramp.

And just to put the icing on the cake of complete and utter fail, let’s do a quick game of “Name That Quote”. In response to this thing with Kellyanne Conway, a big name in journalism said this:

Listen, we cannot—We simply cannot—I don’t mean journalists or the White House per se. None of us can go into this world alternative facts.

Listen, two plus two equals four, that’s a fact there’s no alternative to it. Water runs downhill, that’s a fact. It snows in Alaska. There’s sand dunes in Saudi Arabia. These are facts. This idea of alternative facts, this is a propaganda tool.

This is from a guy who put forth faked documents in pursuit of a story, who was either gullible or dishonest enough to try to smear a President, and for doing so got a movie made about him called, ironically, “Truth”. Yeah, Dan Rather. If Conway has jumped the shark, Rather has been gobbled up by it.

Filed under: GovernmentMedia