I think it’s appropriate to quote a Time story on Donald Trump’s counselor, Kellyanne Conway, describing debunked claims by White House press secretary Sean Spicer as ‘alternative facts’.
Spicer on Saturday gave a five-minute statement to the press riddled with falsehoods and claimed photos showing clearly that the audience for Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration was significantly larger than Trump’s on Friday was an attempt by the media to “minimize enormous support that had gathered on the National Mall.”
Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press, Conway staunchly defended Spicer, and said his untrue statements were “alternative facts.” When asked by host Chuck Todd why Spicer used his first appearance in front of the press to proclaim falsehoods, Conway said Todd was being “overly dramatic” about the statement.
“You’re saying it’s a falsehood, and they’re giving- Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that,” she said.
Pointing out the obvious:
Todd countered Conway: “Alternative facts are not facts. They are falsehoods.”
In the interview Conway had already tried to divert and deny, and threaten the reporter, and she brings up the Martin Luther King story as an example of false news (and it is pointed out to her the reporter retracts and apologises as soon as he found out he was incorrect)
Chuck Todd: It does not excuse, and you did not answer the question, no you did not, you did not answer the question of why the President asked the White House press secretary to come out in front of the podium, for the first time, and utter a falsehood. Why did he do that? It undermines the credibility of the entire White House press office on day one.
Kellyanne Conway: Don’t be so overly dramatic about it . You’re saying it’s a falsehood, and they’re giving, Sean Spicer our press secretary gave alternative facts to that. But the point really is…
Chuck Todd: Alternative facts? Alternative facts, four of the five facts he uttered. The one thing he got right was Zeke Miller [the MLK bust reporter’s name]. Four of the five facts he uttered where just not true. Look, alternative facts are not facts, they’re falsehoods.
Kellyanne Conway: Chuck do you think it’s a fact or not that millions of people who have lost their plans or health insurance and their doctors under President Obama, do you think it’s a fact that everything we heard from these women yesterday happened on the watch of Barack Obama, he was president for eight years, Donald Trump’s been here for about eight hours, do you think it’s a fact that millions of women, 16.1 million as I stand here before you today are in poverty along with their kids, do you think it’s a fact that million don’t have health care, do you think it’s a fact that we spent billions of dollars on education in the last eight years only to have millions of kids stuck in schools that fail them every single day, these are the facts that I want the press core to cover, this is why I’m here at the White House to change awful numbers like that…
Chuck Todd: I understand this, what I don’t understand is that is not what yesterday was about.
Kellyanne Conway: Yes it is.
Chuck Todd: So you have not answered the question, you did not answer the question. You sent the press secretary out there to utter a falsehood on the smallest pettiest thing…
Kellyanne Conway: I don’t think anyone can prove the numbers…
Chuck Todd: …and I don’t understand why you did it.
Kellyanne Conway: …look I actually don’t think, maybe this is me as a pollster Chuck and you know data well, I don’t think you can prove those numbers one way or the other, there’s no way to really quantify crowds, we all know that. You can laugh at me all you want, but I’m very glad…
Chuck Todd: I’m not laughing, I’m just befuddled.
Kellyanne Conway: Well but you are, and i think it’s actually pretty symbolic of the we’re treated by the press, the way that you just laughed at me is actually symbolic of the way, very representative of the way we’re treated by the press. I’ll just ignore it. I’m bigger than that, I’m a kind and gracious person.
So she has turned herself into the victim with false claims she was being laughed at, and repeating the meme of the Trump team being the victim of bad treatment by the press.
That’s from Time (with video) Kellyanne Conway Defends White House’s Falsehoods as ‘Alternative Facts’
The way Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway have kicked off their representation of the Trump White House is not a good sign at all.
Their strategy seems to be to attack hard on trivial matters, then claim to be the victims.
Will this approach gain support, or shed support? Many like it, and many can see through it.