- “Late Night with Seth Meyers”/NBC; YouTube
Seth Meyers dedicated his popular segment “A Closer Look” on Monday’s “Late Night” to President Donald Trump’s “alternative facts” about the attendance for his inauguration and how to combat them.
“This weekend could not have provided a more stark contrast to begin the Trump era,” the host said. “On the one hand, we saw what may have been the largest organized protest in US history. And on the other hand, we had the new Trump administration openly lying on its first full day in office.”
The biggest political events of the last week were Trump’s inauguration and the Women’s March on Washington and other marches across the world. But when it comes to attendance, it isn’t hard to discern which one drew the bigger crowd – unless you’re Trump or employed by him.
While the US National Park Service doesn’t furnish attendance numbers for the National Mall, the Washington D.C. Metro Transit Authority does release ridership numbers. According to the MTA, last Friday’s ridership was lower than the two previous inaugurations for President Barack Obama in 2009 and 20013, and on par with that of President George W. Bush’s second inauguration in 2005. Photographic evidence would further support the relatively low attendance to Trump’s inauguration.
Yet White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Friday, “This is the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration. Period.”
“Period?” Meyers asked. “I think you mean double question marks.”
Piled on top of that, Trump campaign manager-turned-White House counselor Kellyanne Conway appeared on “Meet the Press” and said that Spicer wasn’t lying, but instead presenting “alternative facts.”
“Kellyanne Conway is like someone trying to do the Jedi mind trick after only a week of Jedi training,” Meyers joked of Conway’s spin.
“These may seem like small lies, but the small lies inoculate us against bigger lies,” the host continued. “They make facts a matter of partisan debate rather than accepted shared reality. It may be crowd sizes now, but soon much bigger decisions will come where reality will matter. The only way to answer these lies in the next four years will be organized resistance like the protest we saw this weekend.”
Watch the latest “A Closer Look” segment below: