The above image is a comparison of Donald Trump’s (left) and Barack Obama’s (right) inauguration crowds, in 2017 and 2009 respectively.
Kellyanne Conway, a top adviser to President Trump, said that Trump’s press secretary had his own view regarding the disappointing audience.
“Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts,” Conway said on NBC’s Meet the Press, without a trace of irony.
Her remark drew the instant and well-deserved ire of the show’s host, Chuck Todd. “Look, alternative facts are not facts. They’re falsehoods,” he said.
So just what are the so-called “facts” being alluded to? It all comes down to the size of Trump’s, er,
manhood, hand size inauguration crowd.
Trump is apparently in quite a tizzy, because after predicting that he would have the “biggest crowd ever” (we have the best crowds, don’t we?), it turned out that, well, he didn’t.
There is no official crowd count for the event, but thanks to aerial photographs and data from the subway system, we have a pretty good idea about how many attended the bash.
The Daily Beast went in-depth and came up with the following numbers for the last four inaugurations:
Trump, 2017 250,000 – 600,000
Obama, 2013 1 million
Obama, 2009 1.8 million
George W Bush, 2005 400,000
But Spicer, at his first press conference of the new administration, said that the mainstream media was deliberately fooling people:
Photographs of the inaugural proceedings were intentionally framed in a way, in one particular Tweet, to minimise the enormous support that had gathered on the National Mall…
That was the largest audience to witness an inauguration, period. Both in person and around the globe.
Spicer’s blatant denial of facts such as metro ridership and actual photographs have led to a new meme trending on Twitter.
It turns out #Spicerfacts can explain a lot of things. Like Trump’s incredible popularity:
— Dejohn Trump (@POTUSIllegit) January 22, 2017
Or the true crowd size:
— M H T (@OfficialHanzala) January 22, 2017
Or Trump’s deep respect for women:
— Elliott Lusztig (@ezlusztig) January 22, 2017
Also, Trump’s positive affect on the Women’s March:
— CK (@charley_ck14) January 22, 2017
Like any good meme, #Spicerfacts are also leaking into pop culture:
— Film School Rejects (@rejectnation) January 22, 2017
— Erik The Web (@torgospizza) January 22, 2017
“The Death Star had no design flaws. Period.” pic.twitter.com/mZBB4MnPLm
— Matt O'Brien (@ObsoleteDogma) January 22, 2017
To be fair, there were a couple of factors going against Trump having a big crowd on inauguration day.
Firstly, the weather wasn’t good; the forecast was cloudy and rainy, with a high of around nine degrees. Maybe some folks looked out the window and said “F it! Let’s watch it on TV!” Nielsen reports that 30.6 million tuned in to the inauguration on telly, which is still lower than Obama in 2009 – who got almost 38 million – but it is pretty good.
Secondly, Washington DC is historically a ‘Blue State’ (well, Blue District), with the last eight elections seeing the Democrats win there. That means fewer locals would want to pop outside to see the event.
Finally, in 2009, Obama was the first black President, a historic moment indeed. Trump is the first orange president – but that just isn’t as important.
If the new administration wants to continue making up “alternate facts”, then Trump may consider making a few adjustments to his famous hair.
Perhaps something like this might be more appropriate: