Lies and threats

The Times notes the news media’s alarm at the Trump gang’s rabid hostility to the news media. Ahhh but the Times would, wouldn’t it, because the Times is part of the evil cabal. Right? Right?

For wary Washington journalists, it seemed only a matter of time before Donald J. Trump’s presidency would lead to a high-tension standoff between his administration and the news media.

But on Day 1?

It was startlingly prompt.

The news media world found itself in a state of shock on Sunday, a day after Mr. Trump declared himself in “a running war with the media” and the president’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, used his first appearance on the White House podium to deliver a fiery jeremiad against the press.

Worse, many journalists said, were the falsehoods that sprang from the lips of both Mr. Trump and Mr. Spicer on Saturday. Mr. Trump accused the news media of confecting a battle between himself and the intelligence services (in fact, he had previously compared the services to Nazi Germany in a Twitter post), and among other easily debunked assertions, Mr. Spicer falsely claimed that Mr. Trump’s inauguration was the most attended in history (photographs indicated it was not).

Maybe there were a million or so invisible people there. Photographs can’t photograph invisible people, can they, Smarty Boots.

The tensions flared anew on Sunday when Kellyanne Conway, one of Mr. Trump’s top advisers, said in a television interview that Mr. Spicer had merely presented “alternative facts” about the inauguration, prompting an astonished response from her questioner, Chuck Todd of NBC.

“Wait a minute — ‘alternative facts’?” Mr. Todd asked Ms. Conway on “Meet the Press.” “Look, alternative facts are not facts. They’re falsehoods.”

Well Donald Trump didn’t kindly take time out from his busy schedule to run the country just so that demons like Chuck Todd can be rude about Donald Trump’s alternative facts.

When Mr. Todd pressed her about why the administration had put Mr. Spicer behind the lectern for the first time to “utter a provable falsehood,” Ms. Conway responded with a sharp threat. “If we’re going to keep referring to our press secretary in those types of terms, I think that we’re going to have to rethink our relationship here,” she said.

They all think he’s a dictator and they can impose his will on us. I hope they’re wrong.

In reporting on the day’s events, many news organizations also called out the falsehoods that Mr. Trump and Mr. Spicer offered on Saturday, using variations of “false,” “falsehoods” and“lies” in headlines and stories.

That’s unusual, but Trump might as well be daring them to call him a liar.

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