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A new commentary every Wednesday - February 15, 2017
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer
I chose to present a critique of the current spokesperson for the Tweeter in Chief for several reasons, the greatest of which is due to the fact that most of the presidential press secretaries seem to have a public life that is somewhat shorter than that of a mayfly. One day there is this person who seems to have the ear of the President, and with it, imprimatur from the oval office that they are providing the absolute truth to us through the press; a report to the public about the most vital things that has happened in the oval office in recent hours—and then they often disappear forever.
The presidential press secretaries respond to questions with such impressive, firm confidence, we can almost hear the chief executive speaking to us. They cut the exercise short whenever they please, always leaving the audience of reporters somewhat dissatisfied—judging from the questions called out to them even while the spokesperson is ducking out the door.
Please don't ask Mr. Spicer for particulars about Trump inner circle advisor Kellyanne Conway's "consultation" following an unanticipated presumed impromptu "freebie" commercial she gave for Ivanka's fashion line during an interview on Fox News a week ago.
The only White House Secretary I remember well is Ron Ziegler, who so angered Nixon that the then President came from behind Ziegler and shoved him so forcefully from the podium that I feared that Ron would suffer a Z-shaped spine.
Most White House Press Secretaries are adept in turning substantive questions into quips, thereby disarming the members of the Press. However President Trump reverses the field without forewarning on so many controversial items, it leaves his corps of supporters flailing.
Since so many in the press corps have so many nice, off the records things to say about Mr. Spicer, I worry that one of the veins in his forehead is going to hemorrhage one day, when he is left to twist in the wind. A week ago, it was reported by several media sources that more than one Senator had repeated a response reportedly made to them by Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. The Judge was supposedly asked by at least three members of the Senate as to his feelings regarding President Trump's response to the unanimous ruling of the three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court overturning Trump's executive order banning entry of Muslims from certain countries.
Not until Sunday did I hear Senator Chuck Schumer (Democrat, NY), verify that Justice Gorsuch used the adjectives, "disappointing" and "discouraging," when asked his opinion of the President's demeaning tweets. We're sure to hear more when Justice Gorsach appears before the full committee in confirmation proceedings. (I tend to be a skeptic until I hear the version of the exchange between he and the Senators from the judge, himself.)
Nevertheless, in his garbled double-speak response, Spicer did a terrible job of trying to qualify who said what, and for what reason, despite repeated questions from several members of the press corps seeking clarification of the position taken on the matter of the remarks attributed to the Supreme Court nominee by the White House.
Of course, Spicer's position depends on how well he can defend the President, while placating the Press.
Spicer, unlike Ziegler, will live forever in the annals of Saturday Night Live due to hilarious takeoffs on him done recently by comedian Melissa McCarthy. Two went viral so quickly, that I'm afraid there will be more, That is, if Mr. Spicer keeps his post.
-Phil Richardson, Observer of the human condition and storyteller. "He goes doddering on into his old age, making a public nuisance of himself." - Joseph L. Mencken
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