|Alex Jones (right) and Donald Trump surrogate Roger Stone|
What exactly is a "post-truth world"? Reporter Margaret Sullivan, in an article titled "The post-truth world of the Trump administration is scarier than you think," pointed at Trump surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes to explain it:
On live radio . . . Scottie Nell Hughes sounded breezy as she drove a stake into the heart of knowable reality:
“There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore, as facts,” she declared on “The Diane Rehm Show.”
Hughes, a frequent surrogate for President-elect Donald Trump and a paid commentator for CNN during the campaign, kept defending that assertion, although not with much clarity of expression. Rehm had pressed her about Trump’s recent evidence-free assertion on Twitter that he, not Hillary Clinton, would have won the popular vote if millions of immigrants had not voted illegally.
Sullivan seemed dumbfounded to hear those words come from the mouth of a fairly prominent political figure:
(The apparent genesis of Trump’s claim was Infowars.com, a site that traffics in conspiracy theories and is run by Alex Jones, who says the 2012 massacre of 20 children and six staff members at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., was a government-sponsored hoax.)
What matters now, Hughes argued, is not whether (Trump's) fraud claim is true. No, what matters is who believes it.
“Mr. Trump’s tweets, 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.”
(Note: Longtime Trump surrogate and adviser Roger Stone is a regular guest on the Alex Jones program. Stone perhaps is best known as a dirty trickster from the Richard Nixon years and also is credited with launching the "Brooks Brothers riot" from the Bush v. Gore election of 2000.)
Bill Pryor, a Mobile native currently on the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, is considered a likely Trump nominee for a spot on the U.S. Supreme Court. In a post dated November 17, 2016, we reviewed our reporting about the homophobic Pryor's ties to 1990s gay pornography via the Web site badpuppy.com and noted that a second nude photo of Pryor has surfaced recently. The next day, I reported on Trump's nomination of U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to be attorney general and noted the hefty baggage that Sessions carries -- some of it professional, which cost him a federal judgeship in the 1980s, and some of a more personal nature.
When those posts were published, along with notice that more alarming revelations on Pryor and Sessions were coming soon, it unleashed a deluge of nutty comments that, indeed, seemed to come directly from a post-truth world. Most of them were based on raw emotion, foul language (or both), and I deleted most of them or sent them to spam.
Given the timing of the comments, after the Pryor and Sessions posts, it seems pretty clear they come from Trumpistas. We even have some hard evidence that they came from folks associated with Trump.
I've pulled a few of the comments out of the dust bins to give you an idea of what a "post-truth world" might look like -- and it's not a pretty sight. We will take a look at the "mindset" of certain Trump supporters in an upcoming post.
(To be continued)