“I made a mistake by trying to make a comparison that was completely wrong. I don’t even know how to explain it. It was a straight up mistake.” – Sean Spicer, White House press secretary
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The Trump administration doesn’t elicit much sympathy from me. I freely admit that I enjoy the daily blow-ups and blunders of our Commander-in-Chief and his staff. But my one acceptation is White House press secretary Sean Spicer. I truly feel bad for this guy.
I try to watch his press briefings a couple of times a week. There is very little information to glean from most of his sessions but occasionally I will pick-up some tidbit that, with a little more thought and research, might turn into a post. Yesterday was one of those days I watched and I must admit it was hard to watch.
I am sure by now you have seen the news reports. It would seem, at least to me, anytime a public figure evokes the name of Hitler or the Holocaust it is not going to end well. These are areas that the term “tread lightly” are synonymous with. Unfortunately Spicer didn’t tread lightly, he dug a hole and much to the chagrin of the press corp, kept digging the hole deeper, and later, dug some more until, many hours later, he finally offered an apology.
Sean Spicer has a no-win job. He is responsible for spinning all the “bullshit” that comes out of his bosses mouth and thumbs. He has an audience of one, just one, Donald J. Trump.
If you remember our first introduction to Spicer was when The Donald forced him to go in front of the cameras to confront and confirm to the world that the crowds at Trump’s inauguration were biggest ever. That the pictures comparing Trump’s and Obama’s crowds were inaccurate, “fake news” if you will. Spicer was belligerent, and combative trying to defend his bosses ego which left the press dumbfounded about what just happened. It was, in a word, an inauspicious start to his relationship with the media.
I truly believe that Sean Spicer is a good and compassionate guy. From time to time he shows a wisp of humor, certainly intelligence, even empathy. But yesterday was a bad day for him and as hard as it was for me to watch it was even harder for those he was adressing to watch this man keep talking himself deeper and deeper into the abyss. As the camera scanned the room yesterday showing the faces of people we have come to know on NBC, CBS, ABC, and CNN I got the sense that most of the correspondents were thinking to themselves “Just shut-up, please”. But Spicer couldn’t. As hard as he tried to claw his way back-up, as hard as he tried to spin it just got uglier and uglier.
I can’t imagine how long Sean Spicer can remain on the job. The strain of defending an egotistical manic everyday who makes-up facts just to satisfy his own insecure, thin-skinned self-worth has to be mentally draining. At some point he will have to take stock of his life and decide if all of this mental abuse is worth the time away from his wife and children. I think the decision would have been easy for me. I am not sure I would have gone out the first time to defend my bosses perception of his inauguration crowd. But the allure of fame, power and prestige is tough to step away from even as you defend Trump’s hair brain conspiracy theories one after the other. If all else fails he will at least get a great book deal in the years to come.