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.