Trump-speak? Orwell's '1984' hits Amazon’s bestseller list after Conway’s ‘alternative facts’
The social media frenzy, with the hashtag #AlternativeFacts compared the remark to ‘doublespeak’ and had the added distinction of moving sales of George Orwell's dystopian novel "1984" to the top 3 of Amazon's bestsellers list by Tuesday afternoon.
#AlternativeFacts The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears.It was their final,most essential command— Mike (@sinkspur) January 22, 2017
"Alternative facts" is a phrase that could have come directly out of Orwell's 1984. https://t.co/WVNm7xUdWk— Byrne Harrison (@StageBuzz) January 22, 2017
Alternative facts? Alternative universe. Welcome to the TRUMP propaganda machine. In your face 1984.— Richard Mello (@shuttermug1) January 22, 2017
The surge in sales was first reported by CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter in his ‘Reliable Sources’ newsletter.
The novel, first published in 1949, but set in the dystopian future of "1984," is about a society in which the government lies to its citizens through "Newspeak," which was designed to limit freedom of thought of the people, and conducted surveillance on its dissenters.
The phrase "alternative facts" was uttered when Kellyanne Conway tried to explain to NBC why press secretary Sean Spicer would lie to the press about the size of the crowd attending Trump’s inauguration. Spicer had said the crowd was “the largest audience ever.”
The remark was intended to push back at several media outlets which had compared the size of Barack Obama’s inauguration to that of Donald Trump’s, using visual comparisons which seemed to show they were larger for Obama’s inauguration.
Media outlets did the same again when the Women’s March against Trump occurred on Saturday.
Asked on "Meet the Press" why Spicer used his first appearance before the press to dispute a minimal issue like the inauguration crowd size, and why he used falsehoods to do so, Conway pushed back.
"You're saying it's a falsehood and Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that," she told NBC's Chuck Todd.
She then went on to echo Spicer's claim on Saturday that it wasn't possible to count the crowd, despite Trump's team's accompanying insistence that it was the "largest audience."
"I don't think you can prove those numbers one way or another. There's no way to quantify crowd numbers," Conway said.