What Kamala Harris's big Kwanzaa lie reveals about the media

What is the difference between the largest inauguration crowd that was not the largest and a Kwanzaa celebration that never happened?  How the media cover it.

In Donald Trump's first days as president in 2016, he had Sean Spicer boast that his inauguration was the most watched.  This was immediately attacked, skewed, and morphed to paint the Trump administration as dishonest.  Never mind that the initial claim was that Trump's inauguration was the "most watched" inauguration, meaning via on TV and the various streaming platforms.  This would soon be debunked as Trump did not have the "largest crowd size" at an inauguration.

The attacks were in full force by the first full day of Trump's administration.  Side-by-side pictures of the Obama and Trump inaugurations were shared online to prove Trump a liar.  Kellyanne Conway would soon use the term "alternative facts" to try to describe the difference between "most watched" and "largest crowd."  This would fall on deaf ears and be used to attack the Trump administration's credibility. 

But whatever this initial "controversy" was actually about, the media sure capitalized.  They had a story close enough to their preferred narrative of "Trump Bad," and they would ram it through.  Three days after the inauguration, Time Magazine would write, "It was a signal that Spicer recognized the damage the Administration has fostered during the Trump team's first days in office — and perhaps didn't care."

A Google News search for the phrase "Trump Crowd Size" returns nearly 200 articles during the three days after his inauguration.  The majority follow the narrative that that Trump is jealous of Obama's inauguration and that we are now operating under a new regime that will lie about anything, even something as inconsequential as a crowd size, right out of the starting gate.

Fast-forward almost four years and Kamala Harris, the presumed vice president–elect, issued a warm message to celebrants of Kwanzaa.  Harris, who is half-Jamaican, half–Asian Indian, and zero African, remarked in a tweet that Kwanzaa celebrations were one of her many favorite childhood memories, where people across multiple generations would tell stories and light candles. 

Harris is obviously lying, as broken down in detail in American Thinker and by The Post Millennial.  She was born just 2 years before Kwanzaa was invented, her non-African ancestors are not associated with celebrating Kwanzaa, and there is abundant evidence of her celebrating Christmas in her childhood with no evidence of her celebrating Kwanzaa.

Yet where is the media's breathless reporting on Harris's obvious lie?  A Google News search for the phrase "Harris Kwanzaa" for the three days since her tweet barely yields 40 results.  No national outlets covered, let alone critiqued, her pandering lie.  Many of the search results were not even related to the same Harris who accused not-racist Joe Biden of forcing a little girl off a school bus for racist reasons, but were instead about someone else named Harris and Kwanzaa.  None of the search results on the first two pages was critical of Harris's obvious lie.

This month, Politico ran an article stating that as a "political rule of thumb ... an upper limit of 100 days of harmony and happiness [occurs] between an incoming president and the press before reporters open a document on their computers titled 'writ of divorce.'"  Politico then goes on to blame Trump for picking the inauguration size fight ending the honeymoon on Day One. 

That brings us back to the introductory question comparing a supposed lie of crowd size to an outright pandering lie about a childhood celebration and why it is such an important question.  Without judging the truthfulness of either statement, if they are both lies, they are of equal severity.  Yet one granted the media the authority to treat Team Trump as a hostile witness for the next four years while the other was simply ignored or glossed over.  The media's complicity in Harris's lie is more important than a narcissist not backing down to a challenge on crowd size, or number of viewers, or whatever the initial fiasco was all about.  Perhaps the media are still in their "100 days of honeymoon" with the presumptive presidential ticket, but this comparison is strong evidence that scandal-free Obama's eight-year honeymoon will be granted to the Harris-Biden ticket as well — even if she wears a tan pantsuit.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.