Today the Queen of Double Speak, Kellyanne Conway, made some profound statements on Meet the Press. When Chuck Todd asked her why White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had delivered easily-disproved statements about the size of the crowds at the Inauguration, she replied he had not uttered falsehoods, but “alternative facts.” Todd was taken aback. He reminded her that there are no “alternative” facts. Just facts. You know, stuff that really happened.
Poor small-minded Chuck. Kellyanne was simply referring to the Many Worlds Theory of quantum physics, which states that at every forking of events, another universe is created. In “your” universe, you turn on the light; in the alternative universe “you” don’t turn on a light. Clearly this profound cosmic truth is what she was getting at. While in “our” universe, the size of the Inaugural crowd was small, in Trump’s universe the crowd was the largest ever in the history of crowds anywhere. Just as in our universe people who admit to taking a slighter smaller than large glove are wearing “mediums,” in Donald Trump’s universe such people have “large” hands.
You see, as well as being “President,” Donald Trump is an interdimensional universe hopper. When he’s not on TV, he is visiting another universe where he beloved and his policies are considered reasonable and he is a financial success. Then he leaps over to our universe and reports. Some people call this “transdimenionality.” Other call it falling asleep in front the TV while watching Fox News and waking up confused.
Of course we don’t get it. We’re mere mortals stuck in this sucky universe where a fluke of an electoral system meant to protect slave owners made an inveterate blowhard the scariest person in history.
That also means that there is another universe where Hilary Clinton won the election. Oh, wait, she did that here, too. But in that universe, there is no Electoral College. Or James Comey did not abuse his power as FBI Director.Or Vladimir Putin did not intrude into the election. Or that James Comey did his job improperly but fairly and told the world about his investigation into Trump just as he told them about his investigation of Clinton. Which was not an investigation, since it was a settled matter.
In that universe, more people expect to be covered by health insurance and Putin’s international influence is on the wane. Now if I close my eyes and click my heels three times….
The real question is what is the press going to do about the way they cover Trump? Clearly, they cannot go on with business as usual. By going into a frenzy every time Trump tweeted or said something unconscionable at a rally, they essentially gave him millions of dollars of free publicity. Now they are being excluded except to be used at other Trump rallies, which he calls “press conferences” but where the press is outnumbered by Trump staffers and paid supporters who cheer and boo at the press who are supposed to be conferring with Trump.
The first step is obvious. Stop talking to Conway. Though she is widely liked personally and does a great job as chief propagandist, there is nothing to be learned from interviewing her. She is a black hole for truth. No information comes out of her, though her bright smile shines like a fluorescing event horizon. Tim Russert used to say that it was his job to get politicians to go on the record, but there is nothing that Conway says that is worthy of recording. No matter what question is asked of her, the answer is always either “Argle-bargle” or she changes the subject. Usually to “argle-bargle.”
As for the press conferences, when will the reporters wise up to the fact that the man at the podium is playing them against one another? Everyone wants to ask a question—even though they know it’s going to be “argle-bargle” for an answer—so they can tell their bosses they did their job. Wouldn’t they get further if, instead of letting Trump decide who will ask, they just put their heads together and decided themselves? When Trump hounded Jorge Ramos, the other members of the press continued to vie for attention. Why didn’t they just quiet down and let him talk? And when Trump called on someone other than Ramos, why didn’t they just say, “I’ll let Jorge go first”? Ditto for Trump’s exchange with a reporter from CNN at the last “press conference.” They’ll say, “If I don’t ask questions I’m not doing my job.” But if they’re going to let Trump divide and conquer, they’re not doing their jobs either.
If Trump wants to stage an event and call it a “press conference,” the media should just send in a pool reporter and describe the event for what it is, an event. Summarize the points he made and clearly note which are illogical or based on “alternative facts.” The people need to know the information, not observe the broo-ha-ha. And broo-ha-ha is all the guy has.
One thing is for certain: things have changed. If everyone—the electorate, the press and the Congress—don’t change in response, well, you know how evolution works. Only here, I don’t think it’ll just be reporters being fired or newspapers closing down. It’ll be the end of NATO or an exchange of nuclear weapons. You want to visit that alternative universe?