Did you watch his whole press conference or just see that one line? He came out and yelled at the media for "under reporting" the audience. He essentially said that those showing the side by side pictures of his inauguration and Obama's were being dishonest. He took the media to task for reporting the truth.
I think several of you are misinterpreting Spicer.
He said this was the largest "audience" to ever witness an inauguration, in person and around the globe. In other words, the TV audience was bigger.
Is that untrue? His US ratings were behind Obama in 2009, but were second in the last 36 years. It wouldn't surprise me if there were more global viewers who tuned in, which is what the claim is. That's without counting internet viewers.
My guess is that Spicer's "blatant lie" was in fact true.
The TV audience wasn't bigger in the US. Maybe it was bigger in Russia?
Right, but there's still the global and internet audience to be accounted for. My guess is that those are non-trivial numbers, Russia cracks or not.
Spicer clearly said "both in person and around the globe." The media and public is right to push back against Spicer for the "in-person" comment -- it simply wasn't. As for "around the globe" -- it wasn't the most watched on TV in the US, and if, after already making an obviously false claim about in-person attendance, he wants to argue that so many millions more watched Trump globally than any other inauguration, the burden of proof is on him. Until then, there's no reason to think he's doing anything other than making things up.
He pretty clearly meant total audience, combining in-person and other forms of viewership.
I watched the whole thing. Regardless of the rest of the press conference, Spicer didn't say the in-person audience was the largest ever, which is what many are saying.
Yes, he did.
This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration -- period -- both in person and around the globe.
You don't say "Isaiah Thomas is both 6 feet tall and on the Celtics" and say your statement is correct because Isaiah Thomas is on the Celtics. That's not what "both... and" means in English.
You're ignoring context. The audience he was referencing was "both" - as in combined - in person plus worldwide.
It's like saying "The Celtics have the shortest starting backcourt duo, period, with both Avery Bradley and IT".
No, I am not ignoring context. The only time he mentioned anything to do with "worldwide" in that entire press "conference" was in that one sentence I gave you. The preceding four sentences were all about the in-person crowd. The following sentence was about the crowd. Six other sentences were about the crowd. If he wanted to say "combined", he would have said it. This was a prepared statement, not some off-the-cuff remark. There is nothing in context that remotely suggests he meant "combined." It was "the biggest in-person crowd, period. Oh, and while we're talking about how big and great we are, the biggest audience worldwide, too."
The administration is trying to pretend that they have the most support in US history. This was not an accidental flub, or a question of misinterpretation. They want people to think that Trump's popular support is historic. And that's why it's important to push back against this statement.
It's up to you if on day 1 you want to let them blatantly make up facts and attempt to interpret their statements in the most favorable way possible (and again, I will note, that there is currently no evidence that even the generous interpretation you want to allow them is true either). I know you're too smart to be snowed by them, Roy, so don't let them off the hook so easily.