“Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that the White House had put forth “alternative facts” to ones reported by the news media about the size of Mr. Trump’s inauguration crowd.
“She made this assertion — which quickly went viral on social media — a day after Mr. Trump and Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, had accused the news media of reporting falsehoods about the inauguration and Mr. Trump’s relationship with the intelligence agencies.
“In leveling this attack, the president and Mr. Spicer made a series of false statements.
“Here are the facts.”
- That the media has a feud with him;
- That he had the largest inauguration crowd ever;
- That the sun shined on him during this speech;
- That metro ridership broke records;
- That the secret service changed security measures.
“You’re saying it’s a falsehood. And they’re giving — Sean Spicer, our press secretary — gave alternative facts,” she said.Todd responded: “Alternative facts aren’t facts, they are falsehoods.”Conway then tried to pivot to policy points. But later in the interview, Todd pressed Conway again on why the White House sent Spicer out to make false claims about crowd size, asking: “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’s not your job,” Conway said.Todd followed up: “Can you please answer the question? Why did he do this? You have not answered it — it’s only one question.”Conway said: “I’ll answer it this way: Think about what you just said to your viewers. That’s why we feel compelled to go out and clear the air and put alternative facts out there.”
If that reminds you of George Orwell’s dystopian 1984, you aren’t alone. After Conway’s remarks, observers compared it to Orwell’s terms “newspeak” and “doublethink” – and sales of 1984 spiked on Amazon, hitting the #6 best-selling spot. [The Guardian, 1-24-17]