It is no surprise that Trump is having a tantrum over the fact that it was noted that the audience for his inauguration was quite a bit smaller than other inaugurations. He was so taken aback that the truth was told that he dishonored men and women who have died in service to this country when he gave a speech at the CIA by whining about this fact.
Then we get his mouthpiece, Kellyanne Conway, insisting on “alternative facts”. Sounds quite Orwellian, doesn’t it? The White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, went in front of the cameras and claims that “this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period”. This is of course a bald faced lie and we have lovely photographic evidence to show this wasn’t the case at all.
When confronted with this lie, Ms. Conway said “”You’re saying it’s a falsehood. And they’re giving — Sean Spicer, our press secretary — gave alternative facts,”. This amazingly pathetic response was given to Chuck Todd, the moderator on NBC’s Meet the Press. When asked again why she was trying to spread nonsense, she responded “”Your job is not to call things ridiculous that are said by our press secretary and our president. That’s not your job.”
AKA How dare you say that the Emperor has no clothes! Ms. Conway seems to think that Trump and his coterie have the right to lie to others and take away their ability to make informed choices. Calling the things she and Trump et al say ridiculous, lies, false, etc is exactly the job all of us have now, and if the press doesn’t lead the charge, we all do.
Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell. Hugo L. Black, associate justice US Supreme Court (New York Times Company v. United States, 1971).
To preserve the freedom of the human mind then and freedom of the press, every spirit should be ready to devote itself to martyrdom; for as long as we may think as we will, and speak as we think, the condition of man will proceed in improvement. –Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Green Mumford (18 June 1799).
And then there is the tie. The really really long red one that Trump wore the inauguration. The one that was held together by tape. Ties are generally made with a loop in the back where the narrow end is tucked to keep it in place. This always works if the tie is knotted correctly. And this isn’t a hard thing to do. Millions can do it (my spouse suggests bringing the wide end down to the crotch and then tying it because it will then be at the beltline after the knot is made). But evidently not Trump. Tie tacks and tie bars are also evidently beyond him.
It may seem petty to pick on the man’s tie but it reveals two possibilities, neither of which are reassuring: this man has no friends that will keep him from looking like a buffoon or that he has no one he will listen to. Not one of his family members, not one of his staff said “Don, let me take care of your tie for you.” or he was stupid enough to ignore them. I’ve had no problem telling my boss that she has snot hanging from her nose from a less than successful blow. If no one can do that for you, it’s just sad.
Stephen Colbert does a great monologue on the inauguration and that tie