‘There’s No Such Thing Anymore, Unfortunately, as Facts’

You can listen to the whole segment here, but I direct your attention to the part starting at time 14:40. That is when Scottie Nell Hughes, Trump stalwart, joins the show to assert that “this is all a matter of opinion” and “there are no such things as facts.”

You can listen again starting at around time 18:30, when I point out one of the specific, small lies of the Trump campaign—that the NFL had joined him in complaining about debate dates, which the NFL immediately denied—and Hughes says: Well, this is also just a matter of opinion.

The post-truth world of the Trump administration is scarier than you think

Scottie Nell Hughes sounded breezy as she drove a stake into the heart of knowable reality:

There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore, of facts,” she declared on “The Diane Rehm Show” on Wednesday.

.. What matters now, Hughes argued, is not whether his fraud claim is true. No, what matters is who believes it.

“Mr. Trump’s tweet, amongst a certain crowd, a large — a large part of the population, are truth. When he says that millions of people illegally voted, he has some — in his — amongst him and his supporters, and people believe they have facts to back that up. Those that do not like Mr. Trump, they say that those are lies, and there’s no facts to back it up.”

.. Corey Lewandowski, speaking during an election post-mortem at Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, blamed journalists for — yes — believing what his candidate said.

.. So, how should Trump’s statements during the campaign have been covered? Should reporters have added something like this in the second paragraph of every news story? “Trump probably didn’t mean that he would appoint a special prosecutor/build a wall/deport millions of immigrants. His statements are not meant to be taken literally but rather as broad suggestions of a feeling he was experiencing on a particular day.”

.. “He’s the president-elect, so that’s presidential behavior,” Conway said, using mind-bending pseudo-logic, reminiscent of the Nixonian “When the president does it, that means that it’s not illegal.”

.. It’s time to dust off your old copy of “1984 ” by George Orwell and recall this passage: “The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation. These contradictions are not accidental, nor do they result from ordinary hypocrisy: they are deliberate exercises in doublethink.”