“Everybody has their impression of what truth is.”
— Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), on C-SPAN during a recess of the first impeachment hearing.
“As I leave the Senate, I have to admit that it feels like we’re losing the war for truth. Maybe it’s already lost. If that’s what happens, then we have lost the ability to have the kinds of arguments that help build consensus.”
— Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), quoted by the Washington Post, in his final speech on the Senate floor.
Our new prez is notorious for his Twitter attacks,
And his disdain for the press as libelous hacks.
But veracity’s the victim
When he pulls statistics from his rectum,
But wait — they’re not lies — they’re “alternative facts.”
Journalists are in for the fight of their lives. And they are going to have to be better than ever before, just to do their jobs. They will need to work together, be prepared for legal persecution, toughen up for punishing attacks and figure out new ways to uncover and present the truth. Even so — if the past really is prologue — that may not be enough.
I have a different and more existential fear today about the future of independent journalism and its role in our democracy. And you should too. Because the media scandal of 2016 isn’t so much about what reporters failed to tell the American public; it’s about what they did report on, and the fact that it didn’t seem to matter.
There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore of facts. … One thing that has been interesting this entire campaign season to watch is that people that say facts are facts, they’re not really facts. Everybody has a way, it’s kind of like looking at ratings or looking at a glass of half-full water. Everybody has a way of interpreting them to be the truth or not true.
— Donald Trump supporter and CNN political commentator Scottie Nell Hughes, declaring the end of facts in an interview on The Diane Rehm Show, the Washington Post reports.
This year facts didn’t matter in the voting booth,
And to parse fact from fiction would take a sleuth.
You’ve got your facts, I’ve got mine,
So don’t even try to change my mind,
For we’ve entered and era (not an epoch, I hope) of the post-truth.