Alternative facts

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Dear Donald –

Did Kellyanne mean to say that? I mean, maybe she was trying to say Sean was trying to offer an alternative explanation or he was giving additional facts, and “alternative facts” came out? Surely, she’s not trying to set up some system whereby we just start calling clear falsehoods (or lies) “alternative facts”? It’s bold. I’ll give her that. I’ve always respected how boldly Kellyanne will sidestep the truth in pursuit of the almighty paycheck, but this is some straight up ‘1984’-type stuff.

It was bad enough that you had Sean go out and lie to the press pool in his first press conference, but now you’ve got Kellyanne acting like nobody did anything. I guess we can just drop that whole thing down the Memory Hole in preparation for the next few years of alternative facts.

At the heart of it all, though, is something that truly concerns me – in the immortal words of Vampire Weekend, “why would you lie about something dumb like that?” Out of all of the things that the American people have been misled about – Iran-Contra, no new taxes, Monica, WMDs, you can keep your doctor – this was by far the dumbest. It’s such a petty thing to lie about (and notice I did say “lie,” because there appears to be a clear intention to mislead and spread false information).

My concern is that the feud over this simple, and truly stupid, issue is meant to lay the groundwork for some real whoppers down the line. You sow distrust here, on the small things, and when you challenge them on the big things, you’ve hopefully eroded confidence in the press so much that everyone will believe you. Maybe it’ll be the jobs numbers, or the healthcare overhaul, or the reasons for going to war in Iraq (don’t worry, I noticed the veiled hint at reinvading Iraq and war profiteering at the CIA yesterday). I don’t know what it’ll be, but if you’re willing to get into this big of a fight over something small and stupid like photos of your inauguration and crowd estimates, what the hell are we in for when there are real stakes?

Facts are real things. They represent objective truth. Alternative facts are lies. There’s no doublespeak here. It’s reality or bust. If you’re really so concerned about the American carnage, why fight this battle and objective reality. Unless objective reality is the one thing you don’t want us paying attention to.
“The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.” –George Orwell, 1984.

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