America is in trouble. Sean Spicer, Donald Trump's press secretary, got the upper hand at the White House news conference after lying to Americans over the weekend about crowd size and much more. It was pathetic to watch.
Sean Spicer cleans Jonathan Karl's clock
We have a very ineffective press. It is clear that Trump's Press Secretary came prepared and the mainstream media did not. Jonathan Karl took the brunt of their ineptitude.
Jonathan Karl asked Sean Spice if he had any corrections he wanted to make specifically for the false numbers he gave for metro ridership.
"At the time the information that I was provided by the inaugural committee came from an outside agency that we reported on," Spicer replied. "I think knowing what we know now we can tell that the numbers were different. But we were trying to provide numbers that we had been provided. That wasn't like we made it up out of thin air."
Instead of following up with something like 'Isn't that response some manner of plausible deniability that given the images you saw made those numbers at best suspect? Isn't it your responsibility to be accurate?' Instead, Jonathan Karl immediately asked if Spicer would stick with the statement that the Trump inaugural was the most watched. That is where Karl got his clock cleaned. He was unprepared.
"It was the most watched inaugural," Spicer said. "You just at one network alone got 16.1 people online. Another couple of the networks, there were tens of millions of people that watched that online. The audience that was here, 31 million people watched it on television. Combine that with the tens of millions of people that watched it online on a device, it is unquestionable. And I don't see any numbers that dispute that. When you add up attendance, viewership, total audience in terms of tablets, phones, on television, I would love to see information that proves otherwise. Do you dispute that?"
What was Karl's response?
"I don't want to get into numbers," Karl said.
Really Karl? It is about the numbers. As a journalist asking the question, you were responsible for knowing some of the numbers that based on his statement would be used to justify his lie. So, Spicer wanted to talk numbers.
"I do," replied an emboldened Spicer. "You are asking me a question about my integrity. I have a right to say that if you add up the network streaming numbers, Facebook, YouTube, all of the various live streaming that we have information on so far, I don't think that there is any question that it was the largest watched inauguration ever."
Karl came back with a silly response that was immediately squatted down by Spicer.
"More than Ronald Reagan in 1981?" Karl sheepishly asked.
"I am pretty sure that Reagan didn't have YouTube, Facebook, and the Internet," Spicer boldly replied. "41 million watched his. Let's just take the Nielsen rating which is 31 million and add it to CNN's 16.9 million. That is a little higher. You are asking me for numbers. There are just two entities together."
I am not sure what Spicer was talking about because I am pretty sure CNN is included in the Nielsen rating. I am sure he misspoke meaning online streams from CNN, MSNBC, etc. But Karl did not even question the numbers.
Altogether Spicer made his lies seem like somebody else's mistake his entire narrative at best gave their 'most watched inauguration' seem plausible. We are faced with a timid, derelict, and unprepared press and an administration that is full of bald-faced liars. If the alternative media does not stay vigilant and engaged, America is doomed to Trump's path to a fascist state as the fourth estate continues its irrelevancy.