Besides “alternative facts” strewn about by President Donald Trump and his surrogates, there’s a more subtle issue that seems to be escaping detection.
Consider the word choices of Sean Spicer in his White House press briefings. He consistently throws out bloated words such as unbelievable, incredible, phenomenal, amazing, tremendous, beautiful to describe the accomplishments of the new administration, but remains mum on details.
It sounds starkly familiar. One of Trump the showman’s ploys is sprinkling such shiny hyperbole throughout his comments and announcements, and Spicer seems to have come under his Svengali-like control.
Such subjective, sleight-of-hand terms appeal to our emotions. You hear them in TV product pitches designed to separate you from your money. For Trump, they serve to keep his trail free of substantive details that can be scrutinized.
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Journalists should be biting at the heels of Spicer and Trump to prevent this type of language from becoming the unquestioned default, the new normal. Journalists pursue objective details (facts). How do you fact-check meaningless hype?