- Meagan Lovorn
Trump Administration Introduces Alternative Facts
In case you didn’t know, Donald Trump officially became President of the United States on January 20, 2017.
Once pictures of the crowd surfaced, they were immediately compared to the size of the crowd at Barack Obama’s ceremony. These photos, along with other bits of evidence, show that the 2017 attendance was much smaller than that of previous years.
During the first press briefing of the Trump administration, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer condemned the media for “misleading” people to think the attendance at Trump’s inauguration was significantly less than at Obama’s. Despite photographs and other evidence, he’s quoted as saying, “That was the largest audience to witness an inauguration, period."
White House sources say that a large number of people gathered at the nearby National Mall and that the pictures, which tell a different story, were shot at an unfair angle.
Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President, defended Spicer’s statement in an interview saying, “You're saying it's a falsehood and Sean Spicer, our Press Secretary, gave alternative facts to that." Expectedly, the internet reacted strongly to Conway's use of the phrase "alternative facts," leaving many asking, “Are alternative facts a real thing?” As it turns out, they can be.
According to professor Robert P. Stoker at George Washington University, alternative facts can be legitimate as long as they are backed up with accurate information. These facts allow people to see things from a different perspective. They can be supported by using different statistics and results and comparing them to things society considers as factual.
So there you have it! Alternative facts can be legitimate, just be careful and make sure that the people presenting them have a valid argument.
Do you think alternative facts are legitimate? Give us your thoughts.