On Monday morning, President Trump took to Twitter to offer his broadest dismissal yet of the pesky world of reality:
Any negative polls are fake news, just like the CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the election. Sorry, people want border security and extreme vetting.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 6, 2017
By rejecting not The New York Times or CNN or other, specific news outlets (as he has done time and time again), but instead “any” party that offered critical information, it was the clearest indication yet that America’s 45th president intends to reject all facts that may complicate his vision or intrude on his (very positive) impression of himself, whatever their origin. After all, Trump won the presidency despite much advance polling pointing to his defeat. He has carried his skepticism of pollsters into the Oval Office, and broadened it to encompass data in general.
Since taking office 17 days ago, Trump has rejected objective facts to such a stunning degree that one wonders about the implications for a president who lives in a parallel reality: Can you really govern from the Twilight Zone? For much of the first half of Sunday’s Super Bowl match, there was a fair share of commentary on Twitter about whether the president would even recognize an Atlanta Falcons win over his preferred team, the New England Patriots:
Donald Trump rushing to sign an executive order to make all Patriots second half points count as double. #SuperBowl— Paddy Power (@paddypower) February 6, 2017
… or whether he might just deny ever having picked New England for the win:
Alternative Facts alert: Donald Trump just said he picked Atlanta by 21 to win the Super Bowl (and not the Patriots by 8)— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) February 6, 2017
Beyond tearing at the president’s thin skin, this online heckling reflects a widely shared view: Trump denies reality when it does not suit him, thus his repeated claims of “Fake News!” (Surprising exactly no one, Trump left his own Super Bowl party early, as the Patriots were running a seemingly insurmountable 25 point deficit. This is not a man who likes bad tidings.)