Trump senior advisor Kellyanne Conway gave us a new category on Meet the Press this morning: “alternative facts.” Alternative facts look like sci-fi’s alternate realities or parallel universes, described in Wikipedia as “a hypothetical self-contained reality co-existing with one’s own…. A universe where the very laws of nature are different …” That seems like a useful description of Trumplandia.
Conway was answering Meet the Press host Chuck Todd’s question about why White House press secretary Sean Spicer lied in his January 21 statement about the inauguration crowds.
“Don’t be so overly dramatic about it, Chuck.” Conway sniipped. “You’re saying it’s a falsehood, and … Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that.”
Todd, being a creature of this universe, seemed appalled. “Wait a minute. Alternative facts? Alternative facts? … Four of the five facts he uttered were just not true. Look, alternative facts are not facts.”
I’m not even going to try to fact check every lie that Trump and his minions utter. But once again – here are three good sources for fact-checking from my earlier post on do-it-yourself fact checking:
- Politifact.com is a fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and others who speak up in American politics, funded by the Tampa Bay Times, which created it, and by ad revenues and grants.
- Factcheck.org, a “nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics,” is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
- Snopes.com goes beyond Politifact and FactCheck, dealing with news stories and urban legends as well as politics. Snopes research covers such diverse topics as the Coca Cola/Dr. Pepper rumors (false), the giant alligator in a Florida nature preserve (true), the Facebook policy changes and your privacy notices (false), and answers to persistent questions about whether Wheaties Cereal has so much iron that it sticks to magnets, whether designs on Oreo cookies are messages from the Knights Templar or Freemasons, and how to tell the gender of a bell pepper.