In those early days of Sean Spicer’s fetid tenure as White House press secretary, President Trump expressed support for his briefing-room toady. “I’m not firing Sean Spicer,” Trump reportedly said in March, according to The Post. “That guy gets great ratings. Everyone tunes in.”
That assessment looked offensive at the time, considering that Spicer started out his tenure spreading untruths or outright lies to the assembled press corps. The misery started during his second day on the job, when he called the media in on Jan. 21 to lambaste them regarding the size of the inauguration crowd the day before. “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period — both in person and around the globe,” said the newly installed press secretary. When he wasn’t spreading misinformation, he was stumbling through an offensive Hitler reference or telling the press corps that the president’s tweets “speak for themselves.”
Melissa McCarthy won an Emmy for portraying Spicer on “Saturday Night Live.” Late-night comics, including CBS’s Stephen Colbert, had fun poking at Spicer:
Now Spicer is gone from the White House. He announced his resignation in July and left his job at the end of August. Those weeks saw a shrinking Spicer: He and his colleagues scaled back television coverage of his final White House briefings, and after Sarah Huckabee Sanders was promoted to press secretary in late July, Spicer all but disappeared.
Leave it to Hollywood to re-elevate the guy.
On Sunday night at the 2017 Emmy Awards, host Colbert finished off his monologue by trotting out Spicer and a lectern to address how big the broadcast’s audience would be. “This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period, both in person and around the world.”
Colbert rejoined, “Wow, that really soothes my fragile ego. I can understand why you would want one of these guys around.” Let’s hope that Spicer and the host got “great ratings.”
As it turned out, Spicer was whooping it up with celebs at Emmys after-parties and the like. He also appeared on Jimmy Kimmel’s show last week and was recently named a visiting fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics. His stock is rising.
So: What’s the incentive, now, for giving straight-up, factual, clown-less briefings at the White House?