|View video here.|
Mod: Donald Trump, the guy who promised so many big changes, sure got awfully petty fast. Politicians do lie, and after they get into office they lie even more. No big deal, that is how life is. Everyone knows the rules, and they plan accordingly. But as Vladimir Putin so thoughtfully points out in the video just above, you still have to pick your battles. And lying about the size of the crowd at your presidential inauguration can be easily checked with modern innovations. Such as photographs. So why even bother? I guess if you are as thin-skinned as Donald Trump, crowd size really does matter.
On 'SNL' even Putin makes fun of Trump's Inauguration crowds (USA Today link): The day after Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States, Saturday Night Live opened not with Alec Baldwin's lip-pursing impression of Trump, but with a shirtless Beck Bennett as Russian President Vladimir Putin, addressing the American people.
"Relax. I got this. Putin's going to make everything OK."
After joking that he wouldn't let anything bad happen to the United States ("it's the most expensive thing we've ever bought"), Bennett as Putin addressed Donald Trump, bringing up the size of the Inauguration crowds, which has already been a hot topic with Trump and his press secretary Sean Spicer.
"I'm glad to see so many people turned up to your inauguration," he said, showing a photo of huge crowds in Washington, D.C.
"Oh wait, that's the Women's March!" he cried as the audience cheered. "This is the inauguration," he added, and the photo changed to the sparser crowds from Friday.
Trump Accuses Media of Lying About Inauguration Crowd Size During Bughouse CIA Speech (Slate link): President Donald Trump went to the CIA on his first full day as president in what was supposed to be a symbolic gesture after his harsh criticism of the intelligence community over the past few months. The president may have spent the run-up to the inauguration criticizing the work of the nation’s intelligence agencies, but on Saturday he knew just who to blame for what he characterized as a misrepresentation of his views: the dishonest media.
“As you know, I have a running war with the media, they are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth and they sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community,” Trump said as people could be heard clapping on the sidelines. “And I just want to let you know … it is exactly the opposite.” The truth is, he said, that “I am with you 1,000 percent.”
While standing in front of a wall that honors CIA agents who have been killed in the line of duty, Trump then went on to flat out lie about the size of the crowd at his inauguration and accuse the media of misrepresenting the facts to make him look bad. The president said the crowd “looked honestly like a million-and-a-half people,” falsely adding that “it went all the way back to the Washington Monument.” But instead of the crowds, the media showed “an empty field and it said we drew 250,000 people. Now that’s not bad, but it’s a lie,” Trump said. Later, his press secretary, Sean Spicer, took it further and said Trump had the “largest audience to ever witness an inauguration—period.”
Press Secretary Sean Spicer delivered a fiery broadside against the Fourth Estate from the White House Briefing Room Saturday evening, claiming that reporters had engaged in "deliberately false reporting" in the past 24 hours since President Trump took the oath of office. And, after berating the press, he walked away without taking any questions. "Photographs of the inaugural proceedings were intentionally framed in a way, in one particular tweet, to minimize the enormous support that had gathered on the National Mall," Spicer claimed.
He blamed new floor coverings on mall areas that "had the effect of highlighting any areas where people were not standing, while in years past the grass eliminated this visual." And Spicer claimed that fences and magnetometers going further back than ever prevented "hundreds of thousands of people from being able to access the mall as quickly as they had in years past."
However, CNN reporter Ashley Killough tweeted out a photo showing that floor coverings had in fact been used at Obama's second inauguration.
Donald Trump hailed a failed inaugural that was poorly attended and lacked enthusiasm. To use Trump terms, his inauguration was low energy and sad. The majority of voters did not vote for Donald Trump to be the next president, and that majority is demonstrating that while Republicans may temporarily control the federal government, it is the majority who are fighting back in America.
The AP reports that data suggests there are more people at the March than were at Trump’s inaugural, “Figures from transportation officials in Washington suggest more people may be on the National Mall for the women’s march than came for President Donald Trump’s inauguration. As of 11 a.m. Saturday, 275,000 people had taken trips on the city’s subway system. On Inauguration Day, 193,000 trips had been taken as of that time, and the rail system opened an hour earlier that day, at 4 a.m.”
|Inaugural: Just a smattering of Trumpies.|
Trump And His Press Secretary Flagrantly Lied On Their First Full Day In Office. That Matters. (Huffington Post link): On Saturday, President Donald Trump’s first full day in office, he gave a speech at CIA headquarters in which he lied about the size of the crowd at his inauguration and falsely claimed that he had never feuded with the U.S. intelligence community. Hours later, his press secretary emerged from the West Wing, lied about the size of the inaugural crowd and took no questions.
The most important news here is not the crowd size, or whether Trump feuded with America’s spies (he did), or even that the president and his press secretary lied. Politicians lie. What’s remarkable is that the president and his administration chose to lie, repeatedly, on their first full day on the job, about a relatively trivial ― and easily checkable ― matter.
Journalists should inform readers when the administration is not telling the truth. They shouldn’t credulously promote Trump and his team’s falsehoods in headlines and opening paragraphs, with the truth buried somewhere below. They should focus attention on the fact that the administration lied, not the content of the lie itself. Some media outlets did a good job of this on Saturday. Others didn’t.
“This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer claimed, falsely, Saturday evening.
Here’s the truth, which exists even if the administration doesn’t want to admit it: Fewer people attended Trump’s inauguration than attended some previous inaugurations. Keith Still, a professor at Manchester Metropolitan University and expert on crowd estimates, told The New York Times that, based on photographs, he believed Trump’s crowd was about one-third the size of the group that gathered for Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration.
750K Flock to Downtown LA for Women's March Los Angeles (NBC Southern California link): Some 750,000 people flooded the streets of downtown Los Angeles Saturday to march in solidarity with the Women's March on Washington, according to organizers for the event.
Event organizers for the Women's March-Los Angeles say the day is designed to unify communities and make a stand for "justice and equity for all."
The mission statement for the march reads in part, "We stand together in solidarity for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health and our families -- recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country."
Mod: It might have been the Trump hats. Apparently even they weren't exactly true.
It was a moment rich in irony.
Many of those supporters were sporting Trump's trademark red "Make America Great Again" baseball caps that were made in China, Vietnam and Bangladesh. Some were horrified when they discovered their Trump hats were foreign made.
Rob Walker, 44, who had driven to Washington from Georgia with his wife Abby, 36, had stopped at a truck stop on the way to buy a "Make America Great Again" cap.
"Oh God, I hope it's not made in China," Abby said, flipping the cap over to check. She looked at its label. "China! Don't tell anyone!"
The Trump hats available for purchase on Trump's official campaign website are made in the United States and cost between $25 and $30, according to the label inside those caps.
But they are also more expensive than the $20 versions sold by street vendors in Washington on Friday. Joshua Rojas, 25 and Alyssa Young, 28, had traveled from Texas to watch the inauguration. Young was wearing a pink "Make America Great Again" hat.
"I loved it as soon as I saw it. I bought it right over there from one of the vendors for $20," she said.
So was it made in America?
"I don't know where it was made actually," Young said. "Let me check." She took off the hat to check the label. "Oh no," she cried. "It's made in Vietnam!"
Mod: There is one born every minute.