Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Twenty-first Century Newspeak: Alternative Facts

The first few days of the new administration have been a tad surreal and for a moment, or two amusing in a twisted sort of way.

First we had press secretary Sean Spicer telling the nation, Trump's, "...inauguration drew the largest audience to witness an inauguration. Period." It was later learned Spicer was sent out to make the statement by his boss because El Don was enraged about news stories describing the crowd at his inauguration as smaller than the one at Obama's initial swearing in.

The problem was, thanks to a couple of photographs taken from the same vantage point eight years apart, everyone in the world could clearly see attendance was significantly higher at Obama's first inauguration. Spicer later grumbled about the exact timing of the photos during the ceremonies and pointed out some differences in landscaping which might have made the 2009 crowd look larger than it actually was.

It was classic Trump mumbo jumbo. Lie, lie, lie, no matter how obvious the evidence is that you are doing just that. After watching Spicer's nonsense the Orwellian term, "newspeak," came to mind for the first time. However, it was so crudely applied by the press secretary that there was nothing to do but laugh at the poor little shill.

For those of you unfamiliar with newspeak, it was practiced by the government of Oceania in George Orwell's novel, "1984." Its purpose was to keep the average citizen misinformed, confused, and enthusiastically supportive of what was going on.

Sunday, on Meet the Press, the poor person's Ann Coulter, Kellyanne Conway, confirmed a hybrid of newspeak would be an official tool of Trump policy. In doing so she coined a new and frightening term.

During a rat-a-tat-tat exchange she told an incredulous Chuck Todd, Sean Spicer had been using, "alternative facts," when he described the size of the inaugural audience.

The same day, in response to the vast numbers of women protesting against Trump's presence in the oval office, Vice President Mike Pence went all in with, alternative facts.

He posted on his Facebook page, "Despite misleading liberal media's claim. We, clearly saw that well over half of the participants in yesterday's march were Trump supporters."

It was a lie so grotesque and transparent not even Joseph Goebbels would have tried to pull it off.

At that very moment the amusement ended and sales of, "1984," sky rocketed on Amazon. According to, "The Hill," the novel, written in 1949, is now number six on their best seller list. There is a difference though. While the purpose of newspeak was to indoctrinate and oppress the people, alternative facts as employed by Ms. Conway and the vice president, is being used to demean and ultimately destroy the veracity of the American mainstream media.

The Trump people know he has a hard core base who is steadfastly convinced network television news and outlets such as the New York Times and The Washington Post have been lying to them for years. That's because sometimes those organizations report things they don't agree with, or want to hear. They also know America has entered an age of boutique news outlets.

Everyone with a computer and a hankering is now a journalist. These, "reporters," and their sites strive not to be objective, but to disseminate information which confirms and strengthens the firmly held beliefs of not just themselves, but their target audiences.

Vile rumors and abject denials of verifiable truths are the results of this new journalism. Months ago it became obvious Trump and his people decided this sort of shit is highly advantageous to their political well being. How else do you explain the hiring of Stephen Bannon, a guy who ran an ultra right wing, "alternative news," site, to the position of White House chief political strategist?

Yes, we all know what is coming. Right now Spicer and the rest of the cranks are inflating the size and altering the composition of crowds with alternative facts simply to massage Donald Trump's hyper fragile ego. However, it isn't much of a leap from there to seeing these beasts begin to hammer immigrants, Muslims, dissenters and their aspirations with the same type of monstrous falsehoods. And, as they do, they'll continue to savagely disparage the mainstream media while knowing full well a part of the white American volk will buy every word of what they're selling.

Hey, that's the nature of fascism.

The ghost of Herr Hitler is, no doubt, proud.


1 comment:

  1. I have mentioned this before. In October, 1967, Jim Garrison mentioned in a Playboy interview that "Fascism will come to the United States in the form of national security." Recall that Garrison, as New Orleans DA, was being vilified at the time for telling it like he found it per his investigation into President Kennedy's murder. So, for today, be on the lookout for Trump to tighten the screws in an unhealthy way in the name of security. I don't know that he will, but for sure will not be shocked or surprised if he does.