As critics, pundits and comedians have been predicting for the past six months and a day, Sean Spicer is leaving his job as President Trump’s main mouthpiece. He is no longer the White House Press Secretary, lurking in the bushes to hide from — and spy on — the White House press corps. Many people are amazed Spicer lasted this long.
For a little more than a month the main figure at the press briefing podium has been the odious Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the Deputy White House Press Secretary, and that has been largely without cameras. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the press secretary who relished telling the White House press corps they are fake news, Sarah Huckabee Sanders who has no problem spewing the lies of her boss, President Donald Trump, and challenging the press corps to call the lies what they are.
Sean Spicer jumped deep into his shit on his second day as the press secretary when he scolded the media for reporting on the crowd size — the accurate crowd size — at President Trump’s Inauguration. It went downhill from there for Spicer.
There was that time he told the press corps the Muslim ban — or travel ban if you’d like to be kind to the president — Spicer told the press the ban wasn’t a ban, despite the fact his boss was calling it a ban. Well, Spicer said the president was just using the words of the press. And the press was just reporting the words of the President.
Then there was the time he signaled to America the nation was in distress when he put his U.S. Flag pin on upside down — you know, instead of being a mistake, maybe Spicer was trying to send a message? With Trump as president the USA is definitely in distress. Hats off to you, Sean Spicer, for alerting America so early in this president’s term.
Then there was the hiding in the bushes outside the press briefing room. Really. Who does that? It was after the president fired former FBI Director James Comey — by TV announcement. Comey was speaking with agents in Los Angeles at the time and learned of it when the news alert was flashed on the CNN broadcast blaring on a TV behind him. I guess if your boss does something as despicable as that — not even speaking with the director face-to-face but doing it by TV news release — I would hide as well. How does a press secretary spin that bit of shame?
Then there was the debacle over the Holocaust … Spicer eventually apologized after first claiming Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons (what he meant to say was chemical weapons on the battle field), calling the death camps “Holocaust Centers,” and otherwise getting it almost completely wrong. I had a little bit of sympathy for Spicer when I heard his heartfelt apology.
Then he got back to battling with the press and we got back to the norm with the unhappy press secretary. Part of that included trying to defend the president’s words after Trump contradicted Spicer’s press message after just a few hours. Let’s not forget it was Sean Spicer who said this about President Trump’s tweets: “The president is the president of the United States so they’re considered official statements by the president of the United States.”
Then other employees of President Trump contradicted that. Kellyanne Conway said the press should stop covering Trump’s tweets and national security aide Sebastian Gorka insisted the president’s tweets were not policy.
That had to be the worst part of his job: having to eat his words on a daily basis. “Sean you said this yesterday but then the president tweeted the exact opposite. What’s up with that?”
“I don’t know, maybe the president is a dick?”
Well, he never really said that, but as a proud veteran of the Marine Corps I can imagine it went through Spicer’s head. Here’s why: he’s a Naval Reserve officer. It’s Commander Sean Spicer to you, a public affairs officer who has served as the PIO for McMurdo Station in Antarctica. In 1999 Spicer decided to serve our nation as a member of the military. A tip of the hat Commander Spicer. If I were still an enlisted man in the USMC I would have to salute the galoot if we ever passed one another in uniform outdoors. And then I would utter some epitaph about Naval officers under my breath to make the commander a bit uncomfortable. At any rate sailors and marines have a way of thinking about their chain of command.
Spicer was not a Trump guy until Reince Preibus convinced him to say yes to Trump when the president offered Spicer the job. Preibus is the White House Chief of Staff, such as it is and both he and Spicer worked for the Republican National Committee before flipping over to work for President Trump. Spicer had been a loyal employee of the RNC and this caustic job in the White House can’t be good for his career, unless he gets a job as a talking head on Fox News. Makes us wonder if Spicer and Priebus are still friends. The White House Chief of Staff told the press he was 100 percent behind the president.
This morning (afternoon in the nation’s capital) Spicer tweeted:
— Sean Spicer (@PressSec) July 21, 2017
What was the last straw for Spicer? The president just hired another Wall Streeter to be the new White House Communications Director; Anthony Scaramucci, the founder of the Skybridge Capital hedge fund. He sold it to take a job in the White House. Scaramucci was disliked by Spicer, Priebus and Steve Bannon, who is reported to have said he would resign before Scaramucci got a job in the People’s House. Where’s the resignation?
It’s just been announced Spicer will appear on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program today. You’ll have to search for the time on your TV’s channel guide, but it will probably be one of Hannity’s highest rated programs.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders just introduced Scaramucci as the new Communications Director. After he took the podium the sound system in the briefing room had problems. And then Scaramucci announced Huckabee Sanders would be the new press secretary. Huckabee Sanders read a statement from the president regarding Spicer’s resignation, Trump wishes him well, and then Scaramucci took the podium.
He claimed the administration is doing a great job. He even said President Trump has the greatest political instincts, maybe even ever. What a toadie. He even claims, with a straight face, he doesn’t see President Trump as being under siege with Russiagate. See my next post — which I was writing when Spicer’s resignation was announced. Scaramucci just said Trump is media savvy …jeez, the bullshit continues to roll.
My real sadness in this affair is for Melissa McCarthy. What will she do with her Sean Spicer character on “Saturday Night Live”? Now she’ll have to go star in another movie. Maybe she can make a Sean Spicer movie … I’m copyrighting that you knobs.
Photos are YouTube screenshots unless otherwise noted
Tim Forkes started as a writer on a small alternative college newspaper in Milwaukee called the Crazy Shepherd. Writing about entertainment issues, he had the opportunity to speak with many people in show business, from the very famous to the people struggling to find an audience. In 1992 Tim moved to San Diego, CA and pursued other interests, but remained a freelance writer. Upon arrival in Southern California he was struck by how the business of government and business was so intertwined, far more so than he had witnessed in Wisconsin. His interest in entertainment began to wane and the business of politics took its place. He had always been interested in politics, his mother had been a Democratic Party official in Milwaukee, WI, so he sat down to dinner with many of Wisconsin’s greatest political names of the 20th Century: William Proxmire and Clem Zablocki chief among them. As a Marine Corps veteran, Tim has a great interest in veteran affairs, primarily as they relate to the men and women serving and their families. As far as Tim is concerned, the military-industrial complex has enough support. How the men and women who serve are treated is reprehensible, while in the military and especially once they become veterans. Tim would like to help change that reality.