"Alternative Facts" and Our Government

The following message was just emailed to Marcia Fudge, Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman, my House representative and Senators, respectively:

When Kellyanne Conway used the phrase, “alternative facts” in answering Chuck Todd on Meet the Press this past Sunday, echoes of George Orwell were almost automatic in my head.  Facts are unique in that they describe reality, and the last I looked, there are no alternative realities out there nor are there alternative facts, except perhaps in the minds of those who would attempt to bamboozle the public.  Granted, this was regarding an unimportant point – attendance numbers at the inauguration – but if Conway or Spicer are willing to make such assertions here, they may do so in a far more critical venue.

As my elected representative, I expect you to work from the facts, NOT from some invention coming from someone who may have their own agendas in mind.  Further, when facts not in evidence are presented, they should be challenged and vigorously so.  The integrity of our country and its citizens depends on it.

I have a zero-tolerance policy as regards “alternative facts.”  I expect you to adopt the same attitude.

If Donald Trump thinks that an indulgence in creative reality will be tolerable to anyone who bothers to use their head for something other than a hat rack, he is badly mistaken.  I’ve already published newsman Dan Rather’s opinion regarding this issue, but I feel that the importance of our ability to rely on the honesty of our elected officials and their agents is critical to the health of our democracy.

This was my first communication to my representatives on this matter.  If Trump & Co. persist in such aberrant behavior, it will not be my last.

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Comment by Loren Miller on March 4, 2017 at 5:31am

Sadly, Drumpf lies like most people breathe; it's his normal, though why is anyone's guess.  All I know is that he doesn't belong where he is and needs to be removed, him and his world-upside-down cabinet.

Comment by Grinning Cat on March 3, 2017 at 7:03pm

Seen in a comments section today:

Donald Trump holding a dog (who looks like a beagle): ‘See, I’m holding a cat... but the “dishonest media” will try to make you believe it’s a dog’ [In the photo, Trump is holding the dog badly, almost choking him/her.]

...to which I also say it can't be a cat: Cats aren't Republican!

Comment by Grinning Cat on March 3, 2017 at 6:58pm

Relevant here: the Washington Post's fact-checking project "100 days of Trump claims". Through Thursday, there has been an average of four lies a day; and only one day, March 1, without a false or misleading claim. (Many details at the link.)

Comment by BenGee on February 15, 2017 at 1:30am

Well phrased letter Lauren, thank you.

Comment by Michael Penn on January 25, 2017 at 4:08pm

I agree with Loren's letter 100% and most people should understand that "alternative facts" are just lies. Something either is a fact or it is not a fact. As for Kellyanne Conway please understand that she used to be a comedian.

Spicer's claim about the biggest crowd ever was so premature that nobody should take it seriously, but T Rump is sitting around saying "mirror, mirror on the wall" and the answer given had better agree with him. In fact, it is my opinion that he is so angry with Hillary simply because she had the nerve to run against him. Now he is investigating voter fraud simply because it appears that Hillary had a popular vote of close to 3 million ahead of the Donald. Strangely that is close to the number of women protesting him around the world, so these women had to become "3 million fat women."

The media had better do a wake up call. America and all media comments about what is really going on has officially turned us all into Reality TV. Nothing is credible.

Comment by Loren Miller on January 24, 2017 at 12:41pm

I wouldn't call it "walking on eggshells" but indeed, causing Conway to show more of her hand.  The way things worked out, she gave Todd just enough rope to hang herself with!  The fallout is that poor little Kellyanne has egg ALL OVER her kisser, as the internet has picked up her faux pas and run with it big-time.

Who knows?  Maybe the White House could even be thinking about damage control!!!

Comment by Jennifer W on January 24, 2017 at 12:03pm
I don't think he was running on eggshells and if she would've walked away, that would've said more about her and the joke administration. If it were you and me talking and I said something like that, you have the right to say and would've probably 99% have said "alternative facts or you mean lies?" We are watering down the talk with unnecessary jargon.
Comment by Daniel W on January 24, 2017 at 11:26am

From the same Goebbels quotation source:  “The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly - it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over”  This does describe what is happening as Conway and Spicer, do with non-stop vilification of free press, and with what was their focus on Clinton's flaws and vilification of her.  Little-hands himself doesn't seem to have the self discipline for that tact, but his cadre is another story.

Comment by Loren Miller on January 24, 2017 at 11:24am

Daniel, I think any interview involving Conway needs to be judged on the willingness of the reporter or interviewer to be confrontational with her.  If she says something questionable, my immediate reaction would be: "Your Honor, move to treat the witness as hostile," and proceed from there.  She doesn't get a pass, Spicer doesn't get a pass, and Drumpf sure as hell doesn't get one.  They need to understand up front that if they want to try to snow-job the press, they will pay for their arrogance and pay dearly.

It may be the one good thing about Drumpf and his cronies in that they may finally have forced the press to wake up and do their jobs.

Comment by Daniel W on January 24, 2017 at 11:18am

I don't think Conway would have continued the interview if Todd had outright said this was lying.  By stringing her along a little via wawlking on eggshells, he got her to reveal more of her real self.  I'm making that up, but maybe.

In reality, Im not sure we shouldn't be boycotting news that interviews Conway.  There is nothing she says but lies.  She's our Josef Goebbels.  Our hope lies in an aggressive and free press, the immense diversity of the United States, the passion of the demonstrators, and the vestiges of opposition in Congress.

From the original Josef Goebbels:  "

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

Joseph Goebbels quotes

What is interesting to me is that in Trumpistan, it's not a single lie per se, but relentless destruction of the idea of "facts".  It's more dystopian than Goebbels.  Imagine that.

NY Times is really telling it what it is, using the words "lie" in its headlines.  Bravo.  I subscribed to support them, and to get more real news.


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