Newly minted White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer delivered an unofficial press briefing on January 21 which essentially threw the media for a loop. Spicer came into the press room and before delivering his rundown of President Donald Trump’s activities of the day and upcoming agenda, he chastised the media for falsely reporting that the bust of Martin Luther King had been removed from The White House. He also called the media out for spinning a narrative that the inauguration crowd was smaller than it actually was.
“There’s been a lot of talk in the media about the responsibility to hold Donald Trump accountable. And I’m here to tell you that it goes two ways. We’re going to hold the press accountable, as well. The American people deserve better. And as long as he serves as the messenger for this incredible movement, he will take his message directly to the American people where his focus will always be,” Spicer told the assembled crowd of reporters.
The media was quick to start taking potshots at Spicer. CNN responded with this headline, “White House press secretary attacks media for accurately reporting inauguration crowds”. The Washington Post delivered a similar counter punch. “Sean Spicer held a press conference. He didn’t take questions. Or tell the whole truth.” Even the conservatives on Fox’s The Five were a little taken back acknowledging that Spicer came across a little nervous and a little angry. Former White House Press Secretary for George W. Bush, Dana Perino who appears on The Five generously described Spicer as “determined”.
Spicer, who was previously the Communications Director for The Republican National Committee is hardly a communications neophyte. The intention of this first outing was clearly to set the tone for the Trump administration. Throughout the campaign, Donald Trump has been critical of the media’s integrity.
Make no mistake about it, Spicer’s presentation was designed to show the media that Trump is going to continue to question their reporting practices, editorial content and overall ethics. And those who fall short on these fronts, won’t be called upon. And new seats will be added for members of the conservative and alternative grass roots media.
Said another way, President Trump is going to do more than change the White House drapes from crimson to gold.
Image: Public Domain; Screen Grab; https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fichier:White_House_Spokesman_Spicer_Holds_News_Conference.webm; http://www.voanews.com/a/factcheck-size-of-trump-inaugural-crowd/3686759.html