To start with, instead of just "fake news," we've now got "alternative facts."
From NBC's Meet the Pressthis past Sunday: "Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, said White House press secretary Sean Spicer gave 'alternative facts' when he inaccurately described the inauguration crowd as 'the largest ever' during his first appearance before the press this weekend. Spicer had gathered the press to deliver a five-minute statement Saturday in which he issued multiple falsehoods, declaring erroneously the number of people who used the D.C. metro on Friday, that there was a change in security measures this year and that this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe."
Welcome to "reality politics."
If "the man" doesn't like what's reported, the "facts" are now simply fungible … and, amazingly, this is done with a straight face.
We now have an inner circle in the White House that believes what Rush Limbaugh says … if, of course, he and they say it often enough. Never mind realreality! (Can you imagine someone writing "realreality" a couple of years ago … and meaning it?)
The President's inner circle -- Bannon, Kushner, Preibus, Conway, Spicer, Barrack, et al -- claim the press is "delegitimizing" Donald J. Trump's hard won Presidency. They are, after all, the experts on that with years of "birther-isms" behind them.
The White House is attempting to systematically delegitimize "the press."
As The Hill's Rebecca Savransky reported: "White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus on Fox News Sunday said, 'The point is not the crowd size. The point is the attacks and the attempts to delegitimize this president in one day.' And we're not going to sit around and take it."
In other words, facts don't matter … and it turns out that is especially true when the reports simply repeat what the President said.
All of that seems surreal. But it isn't. It is real. We're in an alternate universe where on-the-record, even recorded quotes are "attacks."
Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are under systematic attack. We need to be careful out there.
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