Home Editorials Alternative Facts, Magical Crowds, and the Day My BS Meter Exploded

Alternative Facts, Magical Crowds, and the Day My BS Meter Exploded

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Photo by Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons Licensing.

It’s barely a few days into the new administration and my bullshit meter just exploded.

It’s not an actual meter, its more a mental thing. But, if it was real, it would be a bunch of fragments scattered across the room. This is a gauge I use when evaluating stories that come up in the news. And lately it has been pushed to the limit with all the junk then-candidate (now-President) Donald Trump pushed during the election.

Now his aides are jumping on the BS wagon, apparently following President Trump’s orders. It started at the end of day one of, what I’m calling, President Trump’s reign of unreason.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer went on an epic rant against the free press for reporting the true facts regarding the size of the inauguration crowd sizes. It was, in fact, smaller than the massive crowd that filled the National Mall in 2009 for the swearing in of President Obama.

Spicer went off, falsely claiming that ”this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe.” A statement made with no evidence at all to back him up. What got him (and the president) upset was the photo evidence taken from the top of the Washington Monument shortly before noon in 2009 and then taken again in 2017. It showed a vast difference in crowd size, the smaller one was for Trump.

Spicer claimed it was a set up. It wasn’t. Even announcers, covering the event in real time, stated that there were less people attending the inauguration this year as compared to others — including Obama’s historic swearing in of 2009. Yet the White House wasn’t buying it at all, and they were going to hold the free press “accountable.”

Accountable? Really? For reporting the facts? Last I heard, that was their job.

Now, if that doesn’t take the cake, what comes next is just out there and, in the end, chilling. On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” host Chuck Todd confronted Trump’s top adviser, Kellyanne Conway, as to why the president had Spicer say a “falsehood” during his very first press conference.

“Why did he do that?” Todd asked. “It undermines the credibility of the entire White House press office on day one.”

Conway’s answer was both dismissive and, frankly, bizarre.

“Don’t be so overly dramatic about it , Chuck,” she responded. And here is the weird part: “You’re saying it’s a falsehood and they’re giving — Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that.”

That’s when my BS meter exploded into a million pieces. So did Chuck’s, judging by his reaction.

“Alternative Facts? Look, alternative facts are not facts, they are falsehoods.” He went on about the crowd size argument when it came up during the visit Trump made to the CIA headquarters that same day. It was very strange, and some senior CIA officials found it insulting, to stay the least. Todd pressed Conway with it. “What was the motive to have this ridiculous litigation of crowd size?”

“Your job is not to call things ridiculous that are said by our press secretary and our president. That is not your job,” Conway coldly stated. “Chuck, I mean, if we’re going to keep referring to our press secretary in those terms, I think that we’re going to have to rethink our relationship here.”

Not your job? Excuse me, but it is the job of the press to call out our leaders when they stray as far away from the truth as Spicer, Trump, and Conway. They flat out lied, both of them. It’s (the press) their job to ask the hard questions in order to report the truth to the public. To hold them (the politicians in this case) accountable for their actions and not the other way around. What she is implying in those chilling statements is the stuff that helped shape dictatorships throughout modern history.

If this makes you nervous, angry, or scared about our brand new president and his staff, I’m there with you. I’ll make room as soon as I pick up the debris from my BS meter. I’m in the market for a new one. I’ll need it real soon.

Alternative facts? More like an alternate reality, from some far off dystopian universe.

This is proof that the next four years will be a rough ride.

Now then, what’s this I hear about President Trump not releasing his tax returns?