The Alternative to Fact is Fiction


Illustration by Sal Polcino

TRUMPNOCCIO: In a break with the traditional values of truth and transparency, the 45th President chooses his own reality, unhampered by facts.

After the 45th U.S. President, Donald Trump, was sworn in on Friday, the biggest issue for his press staff seemed to be how many people attended the festivities—an issue only important to Trump’s image and how the media perceives him. In fact, Press Secretary Sean Spicer held a conference on Saturday just to deal with crowd size.

Spicer insisted the media had grossly underestimated how many people were at the event and that they used uncomplimentary photos from Obama’s inauguration in 2013 side by side with Trump’s inauguration photos to make it look like there were fewer people. Spicer, along with his boss, still falsely insists they had the largest inauguration crowd in history.

Trump later declared his own inauguration day as a national Day of Patriotic Devotion—a confusing edict for a day that has passed and won’t happen again.

To make matters worse, Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway told NBC’s “Meet the Press” reporter Chuck Todd that Spicer gave the public “alternative facts.” This does not bode well for truth in journalism to come out of the White House in the next four years. Isn’t the alternative to fact, fiction?

This is a non-news story. Nobody cares except Trump and the image makers on his staff and yet it is being blown out of proportion. No one cares! Imagine how his staff will react to important issues. Climate change, civil rights, LGBT…oh wait—those were taken down from the website early Friday morning. Problem solved.

One can, however, buy First Lady Melania’s jewelry from the QVC network on the White House site.

Over the last few days Trump has continued to complain that the reason he lost the popular vote is that 3 million illegal immigrants voted against him. This is yet another “alternative fact.”

Meanwhile, the new president has already redecorated the Oval Office in traditional gaudy Trump Hotel style. Because nothing says “Average Joe” like gold drapes.

At his less-than-inspiring inaugural speech Trump said, “Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another, or from one party to another — but we are transferring power from Washington D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.”

Immediately after the ceremonies the new president ran off to sign an executive order which will make mortgages less affordable for the middle class and a bill which will start the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act. This could take healthcare away from as many as 20 million Americans. Yesterday he put the Keystone and Dakota pipelines back in business.

Then there are his unrealistic proposed tax cuts. Rumors are that in his new budget, to subsidize massive tax cuts for the rich, he will cut funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, which includes NPR and defund Planned Parenthood, even after millions of women across the world marched to protest.

His cabinet will be the richest and least qualified in history, yet his supporters from all walks of life continue to support him. Even after breaking numerous campaign promises.The latest is that he will not release his tax returns, which he swore he would do if elected.

“Nobody cares,” said both Trump and Conway. Another alternative fact.

Let’s hope our new Commander-in-Chief will put his ego aside and get down to the business of running the country.