I welcome Sean Spicer’s open contempt for the press

People are freaking out about White House press secretary Sean Spicer accusing the press of intentionally misrepresenting the size of the crowd for Trump’s inauguration. Then Spicer said: “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period — both in person and around the globe.” This statement is demonstrably false. It’s not false like “Paul Blart: Mall Cop was a good movie.” It’s false like “2 + 2 = 5.”

From whistleblowers to drones to killing American citizens, President Obama’s press secretary Jay Carney has lied to reporters again and again. I do not mean to minimize how shitty President Trump is when I say this, but only to be honest. Sean Spicer represents a difference in scope, but not in kind.

In my humble opinion, the relationship between the White House and the press has been WAY too cozy for way too long. An adversarial relationship is great, if the goal is truth seeking. I don’t need a bunch of starfuckers to regurgitate White House press releases and condescend to voters. That’s why we’re in this mess. I need people to let their hate for who’s in charge to propel them to ask questions, dig for answers, submit FOIA requests, and to not take Sean Spicer at his word.

I get it. Everyone’s lazy. Every reporter wants a friendly relationship with every administration because that makes their job easier. Regurgitating press releases is easy. That’s why they do it. It takes a strong push out to trade easy access for the hard work of actual journalism.

So I welcome Sean Spicer’s open contempt for the press, because I look forward to a press with open contempt for this administration. That’s a press that’s willing to do its job.

4 Comments

  1. That’s also a press more willing to deceive in order to harm, as one tribe, case, “identity (and interest) group”. It’s a competition in the market of facts. Principle (for truth) versus comfort versus political desire and personal animosity. What’s the ideal balance?

  2. Christopher J Brennan

    The vast majority of the “elite” Washington press corps derives its status from its access to and association with the politicians that they “cover”.

    The WH reporters’ relief at Spicer acting “normal” during Monday’s briefing was palpable. Nothing will have to change after all. The starfucking (as you so aptly labeled it) shall continue. (See, eg, the WH Correspondents’ Dinner.)

    Imagine how much status they would lose if they were working from cubicles in normal offices doing real investigative reporting rather than sitting in the White House with “The Press Secretary for the President of of the United States of America”.

    Exceptions include David Fahrenthold of the Washington Post when he was making hundreds of calls last year trying to document Trumps “charity” history.

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