I was listening to the radio this morning, and I heard a snatch of an item about the White House Press Secretary’s claim that Trump’s inauguration was better attended than any other Inauguration ever, a claim which is demonstrably untrue. Anyone who was (or is) a fan of The West Wing will remember the episode in which CJ “misspoke”, is, inadvertently stated something which wasn’t true, and the fuss there was about that. The White House Press Secretary is not supposed to say things they know not to be true.
Unsurprisingly, therefore, the media has leapt on this claim that Trump had bigger crowds at his inauguration than any other president, and produced a lot of proof that this was far from the truth. The snippet I heard this morning on the radio was an interview between a woman who is presumably a Trump supporter or one of his team, defending the press secretary, and a male interviewer. He pressed her about the fact that all the evidence, including photographs, showed Trump’s inauguration as rather sparsely attended, with nothing like the massive crowds which attended Obama’s inauguration. She said that the Press Secretary’s view was equally valid, and when he cited the facts, she claimed that the Press Secretary was relying on “alternative facts”. To his eternal credit, the interviewer responded in tones of incredulity “Alternative facts? ALTERNATIVE FACTS? That’s the whole point. Alternative facts aren’t facts, they’re falsehoods.” Lies, in other words. “Alternative” facts.