Lying press, lying spokespeople

The false claims about the inauguration celebration of the new US president have revealed different modi operandi of public lying. While officialdom tends to try to correct reality by statement, the lying press likes to draw misleading comparisons and “forget” facts, which are inimical to its narrative. In this case, that president Obama had been elected by 92 per cent in Washington DC prior to his 2009 inauguration, while only 4 per cent of Washingtonians voted Trump in November 2016.

This clearly had massive influence on mobilisation and presence in the inauguration ceremony, which took place on a weekday, far off Trump’s voter base.

Everybody in political Washington knows that, including the journalists, who should have mentioned, that a comparison betweeen 2009 and 2017 was an uneven, maybe even an unfair match.

Of course the journalists did not – which was to be expected, given the press’ massive bias during the election campaign.

Enters Sean Spicer, the spokesman for the new president, who claimed on saturday, that

this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration – period.”

Meaning real persons, gathering between Capitol Hill and Washington Monument. On monday Spicer modified this claim by including TV audience, which is a clear case of moving goalposts.

The lying press, which in a sense has provoqued this kind of response, rejoiced. After all, Spicer’s meandering can be seen as proof that Trump is having his spokesman lie for him.

In our current world of deception Spicer and his kind resemble cavemen carrying big clubs  – while the media use an array of sophisticated, sometimes hardly understandable arts of decption. The only thing taboo seem to be outright, “literal lies”, probably because they can be detected easily.

Other forms of deceit tend to get covered up by the pack. “Darstellungssache”, as they use to say in German.

Unabhängiger Journalist

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