This is mostly stemming from Sean Spicer’s Saturday press briefing – which preceded Monday’s first official press briefing – in which the media claimed the White House press secretary made many factually incorrect statements. The media pretended to be concerned that this was going to set the tone for the new administration for the next few years.
In an interview, Kellyanne Conway noted that Spicer merely responded to the media’s claims with “alternative facts,” which did little to assuage the pseudo-concerns of the press. In fact, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said Conway was speaking in Orwellian double-speak.
I actually don’t think she meant it that way. I think she meant that Spicer simply offered the media counter claims. Measuring crowd size is not an exact science. So you estimate and speculate. Of course the media would be naturally inclined to lowball their estimates – anything to make it look as though Trump doesn’t actually have much support.
Then again, I don’t think Spicer ever said that Trump’s inauguration crowd was bigger than Obama’s. He said that it had the largest audience, which may be true when you factor in all not only those who watched it live on television, but also those who streamed the inauguration live on the internet.
On the issue of Metro ridership, Spicer had gotten his numbers from a different source than from the Metro itself, and that’s why his numbers were different (higher) than from the “fact-checkers” in the media.
It is rather ridiculous that the media is making a mountain out of a molehill. Judging by their reaction and grave concerns over the new administration’s public statements so far, you’d think Spicer must have lied about some major policy decision involving national security or U.S. troops. Nope. They’re “fact-checking” Spicer’s statements on…crowd sizes.
ABC News’ Jonathan Karl asked Spicer at the press briefing Monday, “Is it your intention to always tell the truth from that podium? And will you pledge never to knowingly say something from that podium that is not accurate?”
An interesting question coming from a member of the media. Nothing specifically against Karl, but he has to know how ironic his inquiry is, considering that the media have a reputation for spinning the facts, taking quotes out of context, leaving out important information, misreporting something, all the purpose of pushing a false narrative to give their audience a false perception of reality.