This story is moving so quickly, I’m not sure I can keep up with it. By the time you read this, we could be in a war with Korea, and Putin will be dancing in the West Wing.
The American press has been shamed for reporting reality and disseminating verifiable information.
I called Kellyanne ConJob to ask her about this, and the she-beast of propaganda hissed. “It’s not the press’s job to report reality, their job is to report what I say reality is,” she said.
Personally, I’m a little disappointed that this development of “alternative facts” hadn’t happened earlier, as my resumé would have some additional polish to it. For one, I would have “gradumakated” summa cum laude from Harvard.
When pressed this week by a reporter about Sean Spicer lying to the press, Kellyanne ConJob took a page from 1932 to defend the Reich installed on January 20, 2017. She responded to the reporter by saying, “You’re saying it’s a falsehood, and Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that.”
Whoa! Alternative facts? Now there is a head-exploding concept.
In the blink of an eye the term alternative facts rolled off Kellyanne’s forked tongue and entered the American lexicon. To be fair, the concept has been around a long, long time. My parents called it “lying,” and my grammar-school friends called it “bullshit.”
So now there are:
- Facts, e.g., information “presented as having objective reality” (Merriam-Webster) and
- Alternative Facts, e.g., Shit you say is true, but isn’t (The Trump Administration).
Alternative facts seem to be coming at us at a frightening clip these days. Not that long ago, President Trump endlessly repeated a promise to release his taxes after the audit. Well, things change. Kellyanne Conjob now states, “The White House response is that he’s not going to release his tax returns.” It was clear people didn’t care, she explained to us, because he was elected.
Of course most of the public does care … so let’s just call that an alternative fact.
ConJob added:. “They voted for him, and let me make this very clear: Most Americans are very focused on what their tax returns will look like while President Trump is in office, not what his look like.”
Alternative Fact: “People don’t care.”
Fact: the Trump administration is refusing to release them.
Several more alternative facts from Kellyanne Conjob:
“The firing of Paul Manafort wasn’t a firing, it was an expansion of staff.”
Fact: Paul was given the heave-ho.
Alternative Fact: They expanded Paul out to an undisclosed location without a salary.
Speaking of Trump, she says, “He does not hurl personal insults.” This one surprised me a bit as I’ve always thought I knew what an insult looked like when I saw it. Apparently I don’t. So from now on, words and phrases such as:
Crooked, worst ever, I will sue him just for fun, isn’t smart enough, flunky, hypocrite, third rate, worst reporter in the business, dummy, liberal clown, lightweight, couldn’t be elected dog catcher, so irrelevant, dishonest, fraud, bimbo, bleeds from her whatever, looking so dumb, underachieving, Little Marco, dummy, dopey, a real dope, dumb as a rock, moved on her like a bitch, truly stupid, grab her by the pussy (among hundreds of other descriptors regularly used by the Child-in-Chief)
are no longer “personal insults.” They’re called “alternative compliments.”
Alternative Immigration policy:
Trump pushed hard on immigration reform, stating over and over to “deport all eleven million undocumented immigrants upon taking office,” then changed his position to “not immediately deporting all of the eleven million undocumented immigrants.” When questioned about the about-face, Conjob insisted there is no change in Trump’s position, though the position had changed, at least to everyone with an above-room temperature IQ.
Fashion Side Note:
I was shocked to find out Kellyanne was a pageant contestant. Yep, First Place in Blueberry Princess Pageant. Take note, fashionistas: extreme blueberry-colored bags under the eyes with that Crypt-Keeper-I-eat-babies grin is the new black.
To most of the American public who have eyes, Trump’s inaugural day wasn’t quite as populated as some other inaugurals. This was rather obvious in the light of certain aerial photos showing a lot of unpopulated areas and other photos of empty grandstands. I’m not really sure that most of us cared. Really, if the musicians ain’t gonna show, what’s the point?
This bring us to Sean Spicer, a man so beloved and popular at his college, he was called Sean Sphincter in the school newspaper. Not kidding, look it up. A perfect fit for a Trump Press Secretary don’t’cha think?
Sean, in an unprecedented hissy fit, announced that “this was the biggest, most well attended inaugural in history.” He went on to ream out the press corps for disseminating lies and falsehoods over this massively important issue that nobody, and I mean nobody, gave a shit about. The fact is, the press wasn’t lying, the administration and Spicer were. Spicer then stomped off the dais without taking a single question in order to hide from the massive bullshit monster that was about to eat him.
The next day Spicer tried to backtrack just a smidge, but somehow managed to follow Kellyanne ConJob deeper into the weeds by stating “I think sometimes we can disagree with the facts.”
Hold it … Whhhaaaaaa?
No, you cannot disagree with a fact. A fact is a provable entity. A fact requires evidence. You can disagree over an opinion, you can disagree in the absence of facts, and you can ignore facts. … but disagreeing with a fact (meaning something previously verified) means you are an idiot and are well on your way to lying through your teeth.
The new administration is doing one helluva job playing with words and phrases. Here is another beaut from Spicer: “I believe that we have to be honest with the American people.”
When you begin a sentence by saying “I believe we have to be honest,” it somehow makes it seem as if you aren’t. Of course you have to be honest, it is a mandatory part of the job. There’s a guy named Richard Nixon who found that out the hard way. Spicer then follows that doozy with “but our intention is never to lie to you.”
Your intention? I don’t know about you, but I’ve never lied to anybody without intending to. Lies don’t just slip out of one’s mouth without intent. That’s what a lie is, the intent to deceive. You can’t lie without intending to.
OK, “Alternative Lie Day” has passed …
It’s the next day … does the Trump Bunch let it go, blush a little, and say, “Oooops, sorry, our bad?”
Nope, they double down, spouting more verifiable bullshit, and claim that three to five million fraudulent voters snuck out in the middle of the night and somehow cast three to five million fraudulent votes. Graveyards were emptied and the zombie apocalypse went political ape-shit on the polling places.
In a meeting with congressional leaders from both parties on Monday, Mr. Trump falsely claimed that he lost the popular vote because millions of unauthorized immigrants had illegally cast ballots for Hillary Clinton. At this juncture all the people around the table, (aside from the orange blowhard flinging verbal feces) got very quiet and thought to themselves “what the fuck have we done?”
Do you know how hard it is to mobilize three to five million folks, in secret, create three to five million fake voter IDs, supply the three to five million people with nose-and-glasses disguises, get George Soros to drive them all to the polls in his ’65 Rambler, and make them vote for Hillary? Let me tell you, it’s quite a trick. You’d think just one would slip up and spill the beans … but noooooo, us Democrats managed to keep it all secret, just like all the child porno and sex trafficking rings we run out of our garages and pizza parlors.
There is not one scintilla of evidence of voter fraud, no one believes it, not even the Republicans. The wiffle-waffel, pants-on-fire, press secretary, Sean Spicer (aka The Sphinc) will not tell us if he believes the ridiculous claim. Instead he stands behind the Official Lectern of Bullshit and tells us that the Child-in-Chief says it, so it must be so. Even Lindsey Graham, another right-winger, says it is complete bullshit. Lindsey, looking very uncomfortable, was questioned about it on broadcast news. After saying he didn’t believe any of it, he actually looked directly into the camera and asked the Child-in-Chief to stop saying it. Do you know how hard it is to embarrass a Republican? These are people who will eat a shit sandwich, smile, dab the corners of their mouth, and ask for another. Even Lindsey, who has eaten many, couldn’t swallow that one.
If indeed three to five million votes were cast fraudulently it would require a vast conspiracy among voting officials across the country. It would be the biggest political news story to break in 100 years. Yet there is no Republican hue and cry for a serious investigation into the raping of our democratic system. You’d think that an investigation of a crime this massive would certainly be warranted. Can you imagine what kind of inquiry would be undertaken if a Democrat had won and it came to light that three to five million fraudulent ballots were cast in her favor? You’d have federal investigators so far up Hillary’s colon we’d know what she ate in 1969. Apparently Russian-style shenanigans and hacking is only upsetting if you lose.
Oh … hold on, hold on, breaking news: the Child-in-Chief has said he intends to launch a yuuge investigation into the voter fraud … again double down on bullshit that didn’t happen.
But here’s the kicker:
We are focusing on the wrong end of the snake. The real intent is distraction. Calling out the Trump administration for its blatant lying is critical and of course should be done. But what does it achieve? Not much.
They don’t appear to care; in fact, they seem to be oddly comfortable with lying. Almost as if it’s part of a plan. The lies are out there, more are coming. Kellyanne ConJob and Spicer will repeat them in every possible variant. Just as they did during the campaign.
By lying about and vilifying a non-existent ghost army of fraudulent voters, the Trump Reich will create an alternative reality for their army of ignorants. These ignorants will accept the lies as true and spread them further and further until others, who originally didn’t believe the lie, begin to wonder, and finally accept the lies, first in part, then whole. They will follow this fake government into vilifying any group that doesn’t believe and resists.
The Germans did it. They vilified the Jewish community for any and all types of social ills in which they had no complicity. The lies were spread: Jews raped people, Jews caused typhus, Jews were the reason Germany lost World War I, on and on. German propaganda vilified Poland, a country on their border, just as Trump is vilifying a country on our border. Many Germans knew these claims were false, but down the road, their belief system changed, little by little, first enough to tolerate, then to accept, and finally support the Nazi ptogram of elimination. It’s a rejected lie in the beginning, but a thousand wagging tongues turn it into accepted truth.
That’s the purpose of a lie. To distract, to divert, to confuse and obscure the real intent. The Republicans have spread lie after lie about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), to the point that people who directly benefit and need the ACA now question it. Against their own self-interest, they vilify it. The ACA lie has become the accepted truth.
The voter-fraud lie needs to be told just long enough to get Republican governors to enact and enforce more voter-suppression laws. That’s the real goal of the fraudulent voter lie.
They’re working the other end of the snake, and we ain’t looking.
This week reminded me of a quote from a man who committed suicide because of some whoppers he told—
"A lie told once remains a lie but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth," said Joseph Goebbels—
which reminded me of what Kellyanne Conjob said:
"We gave you alternative facts.” (Do I have to tell you a thousand times? asks Kellyanne ConJob,)
The takeaway from Goebbels is this: The lie wasn’t the goal, manipulating the social order was. He changed, controlled, and manipulated a society into following orders, no matter how heinous the objective. For a time Goebbels was chillingly successful. Small, cheap lies can get real expensive.
The Goebbels comparison doesn’t stop with Kellyanne. Lsten to the 1932 rhetoric of Steve Bannon on January 26, 2017, from the New York Times:
“The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for awhile,” Mr. Bannon said during a telephone call.
“I want you to quote this,” Mr. Bannon added. “The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country.”
This administration is attacking the free press in an attempt to suppress it. Again, this was something Germany did in the 1930s. It is something other dictatorships do as a matter of course.
Their intent is to gut and crush the fourth estate. Does today’s media have what it takes to push back and stay relevant? To all the reporters and editors out there, check inside your britches, it’s time to grow a pair. For without the free press, there is no democracy and then there is no America.
Trevor Stone Irvin is an illustrator and designer in Atlanta, Georgia. He's worked for the Atlanta Constitution–Cox Newspapers, and at CNN . He has illustrated for firms large and small, including UPS, MSL Worldwide, Coca-Cola, IBM, 3 Olympic Games, and created Blaze the Paralympic Mascot, among many others. He says: "I played many years of rugby and lost a few body parts along the way. I went freelance at twenty-four and have been unemployed ever since. I met my wife at Ringling School of Art when I was nineteen and have been torturing the poor woman ever since. We have two great kids." Irvin's work can be found at:
www.irvinproductions.com | www.facebook.com/trevor.irvin.90 | he can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org