Donald Trump is such a thin-skinned narcissist that the first days of his administration will be remembered for an astoundingly farcical display of truth-denial from the White House rather than any meaningful political initiative.
Trump was clearly furious at the press for pointing out that Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration attracted much bigger crowds that Trump's in 2017. First into the fray was Trump's press secretary Sean Spicer who furiously denounced the media with claims of some kind of vendetta to "minimise the enormous support", telling quite a few demonstrable lies in the process before storming out of the press conference without actually answering any questions from the press.
Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway then attempted to defend Spicer's lies with the astounding claim that they weren't lies, but actually "alternative facts".
The Twitter response to the public coining of a brand new euphemism for "lies" by a government spokesperson was brilliant, with the #AlternativeFacts hashtag trending for the rest of the day. Here are a few of the best examples:"Alternative facts are not facts. They are falsehoods," Chuck Todd tells Pres. Trump's counselor Kellyanne Conway this morning. WATCH: pic.twitter.com/Ao005dQ13r— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) January 22, 2017
Several people used #AlternativeFacts as they were originally intended (to make Trump's inauguration seem very much more glorious than it actually was)
Millions cheer as Mike Pence greets adoring crowds along the #Inauguration parade route #AlternativeFacts pic.twitter.com/MCq12kZQxu— Donald J. Drumpf (@RealDonalDrumpf) January 22, 2017
Some people pointed out the way that Trump left his wife behind as he rushed out of the car and up the steps, and then again as he hurried through the door was not "rudeness", but "alternative chivalry"!President Trump was honored to have Prince and David Bowie perform at his inauguration. Springsteen cried. So jealous. #alternativefacts— Sean Spiceboy Spicer (@DatSpiceBoy) January 22, 2017
'Nobody has more respect for women than me, believe me.'— Ashley Riggs (@Just1MoreAshley) January 23, 2017
People were quick to point out that "alternative facts" probably won't work so well with policemen, teachers or the tax authorities.
officer I am not drunk, I am alternative sober, #alternativefacts— kyle humble (@khumble14) January 22, 2017
As a teacher, I would not accept "#alternativefacts" on an exam or in a historical essay. I'm hoping that, as citizens, we won't either.— Aaron Dowdall (@atdowdall) January 22, 2017
I tried putting #alternativefacts on my tax forms and now I'm serving 15 to life 😐— Ohm Shukla😏 (@OhmShukla) January 22, 2017
Kris Sacrebleu pointed out the chillingly Orwellian nature of "alternative facts".
"The Party told you to reject all evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command." (Orwell)#AlternativeFacts— (((DuneMyThang™))) (@Kris_Sacrebleu) January 22, 2017
Daniel Phillips helpfully provided some synonyms to help people get their heads around what "alternative facts" actually are.
Here are some other fun words for #AlternativeFacts:— Daniel Phillips (@DanielKATC) January 22, 2017
The Merriam Webster dictionary offered a helpful definition of the word "fact" for anyone suffering confusion.
📈A fact is a piece of information presented as having objective reality. https://t.co/gCKRZZm23c— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) January 22, 2017
And a librarian got in on the act too:
A spoof Henry the Eighth account pointed out some other world leaders with a fondness for "alternative facts".Good news is that libraries already have a huge section full of #alternativefacts— Fake Library Stats (@FakeLibStats) January 22, 2017
We call it the fiction section
Some of the best minds in history have been huge fans of #alternativefacts pic.twitter.com/vo4zGawIIG— Henry Tudor (@KngHnryVIII) January 22, 2017
Here are a few more people demonstrating that they get the idea:
Kellyanne Conway still has credibility and integrity as a spokesperson #alternativefacts— Patrick Canfield (@lakesideman1) January 22, 2017
This is not a #punch in the face— Jorge Santisteban (@JoSantisteban) January 23, 2017
This is an #AlternativeHug 😐😐😂😂#AlternativeFacts pic.twitter.com/kRFULhNQ1F
#alternativefacts We're not taking your healthcare we're just finding an alternative way for you to die. pic.twitter.com/VrayhgVgsB— DemsTalk (@DemsTalk) January 22, 2017
Scientists for EU picked up on the similarity between "alternative facts" and Vote Leave campaign pledges.
"Here, have some #facts..."— Scientists for EU (@Scientists4EU) January 22, 2017
"Hmm - I don't like them."
"Tough to chew, I know. OK try these #alternativefacts."
"Wow! These are great!"
After just one day in the White House the Orwellian lunacy of "alternative facts" was enough to make people lose patience with the Trump administration.
Someone convinced me to give Trump 100 days. I took a breath and agreed to try. Day 1, #alternativefacts, and I am done. Game on.— Jimmy Wales (@jimmy_wales) January 22, 2017
When can we get the impeachment process started? Or should I call it the Alternative Inauguration? #alternativefacts— Brad Watson (@BradWatson11) January 22, 2017
Possibly the best Tweet of all was this one that shows a very good understanding of the Trumpster thought system: uncomfortable truth = "fake news" / Trump administration lie = "alternative fact".
So #FakeNews is anything that discredits you while #AlternativeFacts are lies that handily back up your narrative.— Paul (@MPCmonkey) January 22, 2017
Have I got this right?
Chillingly Dan Rather points out that the ones with the most realistic power to stop the insanity of stuff like "alternative facts" are the Republican Party who allowed themselves to be usurped by Trump in the first place, and hopes that the press who elevated Trump to the White House with all of the free publicity they gave him pressure the Republicans to hold him to account.
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