Afact by any other name is not a fact at all. I pride myself on the filter between my brain and mouth. Donald Trump lacks that filter.
He says whatever he’s thinking without regard for what the facts really are. Trump claims that his was the most watched inauguration both in person and through other media sources.
Aerial photos and the ridership numbers for the D.C. metro prove this is not true. Trump, however, is not backing down. He has also made many other statements that have later been proven false. In one speech, he claimed that the murder rate in Chicago was dramatically increasing when in reality it had fallen by 16 percent.
His supporters and representatives are forced to explain his claims and in some cases interpret what he has said. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, defending Trump’s inauguration claims, repeated several of Trump’s “distortions.”
Kellyanne Conway, a senior advisor to Trump, coined the phrase “alternative facts.” Many people quickly pointed out that alternative facts were not facts.
They were lies.
It is true that people can disagree about things that are going to happen. Spicer tried to explain that people could have different opinions and make statements that were not lies.
On “Real Time with Bill Maher,” Maher explained that although for instance, weathermen could disagree about what the weather would be tomorrow, they didn’t usually argue about what the weather was yesterday.
If alternative facts are accepted without question, they will become facts. That seems to be what Trump is counting on.
Senior Trump strategist Stephen Bannon said, ”The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while.” Trump talks about his running war with the press and says he wants to “open up libel laws.”
It is the duty of the press to question so called alternative facts and scrutinize claims. If journalists do not, alternative facts will become facts.
Bonnie Oviatt is a staff writer at the Laney Tower. E-mail her at btower(at)yahoo.com.