Donald Trump’s White House administration has wasted little time in defining itself in the post-truth era, with a top aide arguing it used “alternative facts” when faced with claims over the size of the turn-out to Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press where she defended White House press secretary Sean Spicer for telling reporters on Saturday: “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period — both in person and around the globe.”
Aerial photos showed that Trump drew a smaller crowd to his inaugural address than President Obama did.
This is the exchange on Meet the Press with presenter Chuck Todd, when he said Trump’s media frontman “utters a falsehood”.
TODD: Why did he do that? It undermines the credibility of the entire White House Press Office on day one.
CONWAY: No it doesn’t. Don’t be so overly dramatic about it. Chuck. They’re saying it’s a falsehood and Sean Spicer our press secretary gave alternative facts to that.
CONWAY: Wait a minute, ‘alternative facts’? Four of the five facts he uttered ... the one thing he got right was Zeke Miller. Four of the five facts he uttered were just not true. Alternative facts are not facts. They’re falsehoods.
Time magazine’s Zeke Miller wrote that the Martin Luther King bust had been removed from the Oval Office - but a cameraman was standing in front of it during the visit by reporters which blocked him from seeing the statue. He later apologised repeatedly for the error.
“This is on me, not my colleagues. I’ve been doing everything I can to fix my error. My apologies,” Miller tweeted at Spicer.
“Apology accepted,” the spokesman tweeted back.
The reaction to the advent of ‘alternative facts’ was largely one of disbelief.
Naturally, people started to devise their own ‘alternative facts’.