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Est. April 5, 2002
January 26, 2017 - Issue 683

An Alternative Fact
Is An Actual Fiction

"The question for the media is
whether he’s telling the truth or
deliberately lying. Misinformation is
not disinformation, and the media
cannot afford to normalize either."

On Inauguration Day 2017, my employer gave the staff the day off. The expectation was that workers, with the day off, might personally witness the peaceful transition of power within our system of democracy. I am blessed to presently have a decent job, and I could’ve attended the inauguration; but, I chose not to.

Because of the pattern of insincere revisions of actual events posited by now-President Donald Trump and those closely associated with him, I had absolutely zero desire to participate in anything remotely associated with supporting him; I have no desire to lie with lies (a play on the maxim ‘lie with dogs, get up with fleas). And, as though on cue, the Trump Administration kicked off a surreal era in American history: a Trump Presidency where alternative facts supersede facts.

Now, Trump has shown himself to be an absolute narcissist as well as a pathological liar. He gloats at his reputation to negotiate winning deals. He thrives on his belief that people adore and admire him for being an “unbelievable” dealmaker. Donald Trump has always been his own amusement park of mirrors - an illusion, if you will, and money has been his vehicle for perpetuating that illusion.

Now, as President, his money is less of a factor because he’ll have access to our money. His partners will be Congress - and his cabinet and counsel of billionaires, military generals and white supremacists. Managing a democratic republic is worlds apart from running a business. We—the People, the opposition and dissenters and the observers (the media)—better know that too!

President Trump sent his attack dog out to “get the press straight.” On his first full day at work, he sent his Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, to tell the media aka the People "That was the largest audience to witness an inauguration. Period." He approached the podium like a stinking trash dump on fire and his claim was easily disproved. Any American who saw the images of the swearing-in ceremony would wonder why Trump would dispatch his Press Secretary to deliver with conviction an obvious and provable falsehood.

The comparison between the 2009 and last week’s inauguration attendance was no pissing contest. Or was it? Donald Trump carried on like size really does matter. He acted like he was talking about the size of his genitalia!

He continued by bragging about the number of people who attended his inauguration on the National Mall compared to the women’s march the following day. Why the obsession with size? I’m chuckling just imaging that he’s really agitated about the 2009 inauguration because in reality he’s comparing his size with the size of the Black man’s. But I digressed. The self-absorbed President doesn’t realize that the inauguration doesn’t even belong to him; it’s ours - we, the People.

On the Sunday, immediately following the inauguration, defiant White House Senior Counselor Kellyanne Conway defended Donald Trump’s persistent lying to the American people. Meet the Press host Chuck Todd asked Conway, “It's a small thing, but the first time he confronts the public, it's a falsehood?” After a brief tense exchange, an irritated Conway retorted:

Don't be so overly dramatic about it, Chuck. You're saying it's a falsehood, and they're giving — our Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, gave alternative facts to that. But the point really is —“

Todd’s WTF interruption began, “Wait a minute. Alternative facts? …Four of the five facts he uttered… were just not true. Alternative facts …they're falsehoods.”

My takeaway is this: 1) One can never be over dramatic when responding to someone who blatantly lies to your face, 2) Euphemistically referring to “alternative facts” as falsehoods instead of lies is undeservedly polite and 3) An alternative fact is a figment of an alternative reality.

According to, a fact is defined as knowledge or information based on real occurrences. When you ruminate on that definition, one can reasonably surmise that the Trump team exists in an alternate reality - one in which they walk in lockstep. What I’ve come to learn is that in criminal law a conspiracy is born when two or more people conceive a deception. Donald Trump, Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway are co-conspirators in this real-life crime of beguiling the American people. By the way, Conway replaced Rudy Giuliani as Donald Trump’s “Minister of Propaganda.”

I think the question for us is whether we will subscribe to the fiction. Regardless of whether you like Trump, many of his utterances are easily proven false - over and over again. The question for the media is whether he’s telling the truth or deliberately lying. Misinformation is not disinformation, and the media cannot afford to normalize either.

What befuddles the norm is that Spicer attempted a “reset” with the press by saying, “Sometimes you can have a disagreement with the facts.” What? Seriously? He just described another euphemism: Disagreeing with facts can only be a denial of the facts - denying the truth aka lying.

At the time of writing this commentary, Donald Trump had reverted to bellyaching about the lie of Clinton winning the popular vote thanks the votes of millions of illegal immigrants. Attorneys General and election fraud and reform scholars attest that no evidence points to the voter fraud he claims! More fiction pawned as fact. Facts are what is - all else is fiction, disinformation or opinion.

President Trump is beating us into numbness. The more he spouts truths or lies - mostly lies - the more weary we become, and eventually question less. Trump said it was sunny during his inauguration; it wasn’t. Trump said the rain ceased the moment he was sworn-in; it didn’t. During the 2016 campaign, he said he would eventually release his tax returns; Conway said last Sunday that he won’t.

By the way, despite her assertion that only the media cares about his tax returns, an ABC/Washington Post poll found that three-quarters of Americans want the President to release his tax returns. Those tax returns would reveal a multitude of financial conflicts of interest, debt and additional insight into Trump’s actual net worth (as compared to his boast of a net worth exceeding $10 billion). Last October, the New York Times published Trump’s leaked 1995 tax return in which he claimed a $916 million loss… Whoa! Would that make him one of the biggest losers?

Our new President has shocked us into a new reality. We, the People, must choose whether we will partake of the fact or fiction. To preserve our collective health, we cannot normalize their alternative reality. Their alternative facts must never be a viable option. Period. Columnist, Perry Redd, longtime activist & organizer, is the Executive Director of the workers rights advocacy, Sincere
that currently owns the FCC license for WOOK-LP 103.1FM/ His latest book,
Perry NoName: A Journal From A Federal Prison-book 1, chronicles his ‘behind bars’ activism that extricated him from a 42-year sentence and is now case law. He is also the author of As A Condition of Your Freedom: A Guide to Self-Redemption From Societal Oppression, Mr. Redd also hosts a radio show, Socially Speaking, from his Washington, DC studio. Tweet him @socialspeaks. Contact Mr. Redd and BC.




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