White House press secretary Sarah Sanders takes questions from children on Tuesday. (Ron Sachs/Pool/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

I honestly don’t understand why White House press secretary Sarah Sanders invited children into the press briefing room to answer questions on Thursday.

I mean, I understand it in theory: It is Take Your Kids to Work Day, a day on which parents bring their children into the workplace to give them a glimpse of what they do all day. In this case, the children were those of members of the White House press pool, participants in the White House daily media briefing.

But this is my point. Sanders seldom actually holds any briefings anymore, much less daily. We have visualized this in the past, but it bears doing again. Since about the middle of last year, there have been just a smattering of briefings, and relatively short ones at that.


(The Washington Post/Philip Bump)

Her predecessor Sean Spicer held near-daily briefings until he was fired. Sanders no longer bothers. Since Nov. 1, she has held precisely three briefings. Compare that with the same period two years before.


(The Washington Post/Philip Bump)

So why pretend? Why invite children into the briefing room and answer questions from them as though that is part of your job? Sanders staging a mock media briefing as part of Take Your Kids to Work Day is like a reporter showing children how to send a telegram. Maybe that used to be part of the gig, but let us not pretend it still is.

Bloomberg News’s Jennifer Jacobs told The Washington Post that Thursday’s briefing lasted about 28 minutes. That means Sanders took one minute answering questions from children for every three minutes she has taken answering questions from the reporters at briefings in 2019.

If we add in the five minutes that a Thanksgiving turkey spent on the dais in November, there have been two media briefings for the national press corps in the past six months for every time the briefing room has hosted children or poultry.


(The Washington Post/Philip Bump)

If Sanders wanted to give the reporters’ children an honest sense of what she and their parents do all day, she would have had them send her emails that went unanswered and then gathered them outside the White House to yell at them for a while.

We do not know whether Sanders told the children anything she might have to later recant under oath.