Sales of George Orwell’s novel “1984 “
reportedly have soared after Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, talked about “alternative facts.”
The novel pictures a dystopian society where the Ministry of Truth is emblazoned with three slogans: “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”
It’s not her first Orwellian comment. Here are the two most notorious (so far), in context (with links to the transcripts):
1. Heart, Not Mouth
Conway: “Why don’t you believe him? Why is everything taken at face value?”
Chris Cuomo: “Because it doesn’t stick to the facts.”
Conway:…”You can’t give him the benefit of the doubt on this, and he’s telling you what was in his heart? You always want to go by what’s come out of his mouth rather than look at what’s in his heart.”
January 9, 2017 CNN’s “New Day” (about Trump’s denial that he mocked a disabled reporter)
2. Alternative Facts
CHUCK TODD: “I’m curious why President Trump chose yesterday to send out his press secretary to essentially litigate a provable falsehood when it comes to a small and petty thing like inaugural crowd size. I guess my question to you is why do that?
KELLYANNE CONWAY: “Chuck, the president did many things yesterday and the day before that are very meaningful to America….” (A couple of paragraphs later) “And on this matter of crowd size I think it is a symbol for the unfair and incomplete treatment that this president often receives….” A couple more paragraphs:
CHUCK TODD: “…you did not answer the question, why did the president send out his press secretary….for the very first time in front of that podium to utter a provable falsehood?”
Conway: “Chuck, I mean, if we’re going to keep referring to our press secretary in those types of terms I think that we’re going to have to rethink our relationship here….”
you did not answer the question.
I did answer–
No you did not.
You did not–
Yes I did.
–answer the question of why the president asked the White House press secretary to come out in front of the podium for the first time and utter a falsehood? Why did he do that? It undermines the credibility of the entire White House press office–
No it doesn’t.
–on day one.
Don’t be so overly dramatic about it, Chuck. What– You’re saying it’s a falsehood. And they’re giving Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that. But the point remains–
Wait a minute– Alternative facts?
“Alternative facts?….Four of the five facts he uttered were just not true. Look, alternative facts are not facts. They’re falsehoods.”
KELLYANNE CONWAY: “Chuck, do you think it’s a fact or not that millions of people have lost their plans or health insurance and their doctors under President Obama?….”
3. Bowling Green Massacre
“I bet it’s brand new information to people that President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre. Most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered.”
February 2, Hard Ball with Chris Matthews
4. Shop Trump
“Go buy Ivanka’s stuff is what I’m telling you….This is just wonderful line. I own some of it. I fully—I’m going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.”
February 9, 2017. Fox and Friends, speaking from the White House
“Go buy Ivanka’s stuff!” Kellyanne Conway tells “Fox & Friends” viewers from the White House briefing room. pic.twitter.com/noIhnVgcAk
— Andrew Kirell (@AndrewKirell) February 9, 2017
5. Flynn’s Delayed Resignation
On the Today Show, Conway was asked repeatedly why, despite reports that the Justice Department told the White House last month that Flynn had misled them and even put himself at risk for blackmail, he continued to retain the president’s full trust.
“That’s one characterization,” Conway said. “But the fact is that General Flynn continued in that position and was in the presidential daily briefings, was part of the leader calls as recently as (Monday) … and as time wore on, obviously the situation had become unsustainable.”
6. Of Course I Don’t Have Any Evidence
suggested that the alleged monitoring of activities at Trump’s campaign headquarters at Trump Tower in Manhattan may have involved far more than wiretapping. “What I can say is there are many ways to surveil each other…You can surveil someone through their phones, certainly through their television sets — any number of ways…microwaves that turn into cameras…We know this is a fact of modern life.”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 13, 2017
Surely, thanks in part to Kellyanne Conway, a stage version of Orwell’s 1984, originally produced in the UK, will open at Broadway’s Hudson Theater in June.