Alternative facts on TV

Former transport minister Konstantinos Karamanlis (l), who resigned after the deadly train crash at Tempe, and new minister Giorgos Gerapetritis are seen at a meeting of the Permanent Committee on Institutions & Transparency on March 20.  [InTime News]

The term "alternative facts" was coined by Kellyanne Conway, a senior White House aide in Donald Trump's administration, when she tried to justify a lie by then press secretary Sean Spicer, who claimed that the crowd assembled in Washington, DC for Trump's inauguration in 2017 "was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration" in person in the world (January 22, 2017). So what if aerial photos showed that the crowd at Trump's inauguration ceremony was smaller than it had been in 2009, when Barack Obama was sworn in? Conway insisted that there are many ways to see reality.

In Europe, the term did not make much of an impression. We have had long exposure to "alternate realities." In Greece, we did not even lift an eyebrow. We knew first-hand the "alternative events" of pre-election rallies, when parties claimed that Athens' "Syntagma Square was packed with crowds and...

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