Most parents have experienced this scenario. Your child asks one parent for something, is turned down, then goes to the other parent with the same request, claiming (falsely) that parent #1 had approved it. The wise parent quickly learns to “trust, but verify” these claims.
The American people are now facing a similar situation, but this time it isn’t our children whose claims we need to verify, it is our government’s. Nothing brought this to light better than Sean Spicer’s so-called press conference yesterday. We have grown used to reading and hearing Donald Trump the candidate and Donald Trump the President-elect put forth lies in his speeches and on Twitter. While deeply concerning, these were the words of someone who was still a private citizen. No longer.
Donald Trump now has the full force and authority of the Office of the President of the United States of America behind him. This includes his Press Secretary. And when, on his first full day in office, that Press Secretary blatantly lies to the American people, we all need to be more than deeply concerned. We need to be mad as hell.
Much like the fibs told by small children, Sean Spicer lied about unimportant things. He lied about the number of people attending the inauguration. He lied about the cloth coverings on the Mall. He lied about security measures preventing people attending the inauguration. It was a classic example of “Who are you going to believe – me or your lying eyes.”
Spicer then went on to call the mistaken, and quickly corrected tweet, from one reporter, that the bust of MLK had been removed from the Oval Office “egregious.” According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “egregious” is defined as “very bad and easily noticed.” By that definition, Sean Spicer’s entire speech to the press was egregious.
Once my then three-year-old daughter tried to pull a fast one, not realizing I could hear her conversation with her father in the kitchen from our bedroom. When she came back to me and reported “Daddy said I could” I told her “Katie, that is a very bad fib.” With all the innocence of a child, she retorted, “No Mommy, it was a very good fib.”
Mr. Spicer, your fibs are not even as good as the one my daughter used. Fortunately, the press finally seems to recognize your tales for what they are – fibs, lies, untruths. You and your boss are going to have to do better than a three-year-old child. Or better yet, start telling the truth. Because even if it is “a very good fib” we are going to call you out on it. You may be able to fool some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.