The Trump administration has stripped our democratic norms down to the studs and decimated our expectations when it comes to the presidency. The dignity of the Oval Office has been reduced to ash faster than a Trump steak left too long on the grill and now we’ve come to expect nothing but a constant stream of self-serving lies from the White House. At this point, it’s difficult to remember what it was like to have a competent, well-meaning president who actually had an interest in communicating with the American in ways other than lashing out like a child on Twitter.
The White House hasn’t held an official press briefing in over six months, something which would have been inconceivable under any previous administration. By suspending these crucial back-and-forths between the executive branch and the press, Trump has removed himself from an important accountability channel. Now, the American people are forced to rely on his rambling tweets and his sporadic, impromptu interactions with reporters for their presidential information. It’s a state of affairs the reveals a deep cowardice on the part of the administration and which hobbles the healthy functioning of our democracy in a very real sense.
On Fox & Friends today, the hosts whined about how former White House Press Secretaries Sean Spicer and Sarah Huckabee Sanders were treated by the media. By any reasonable metric, the two habitual liars were actually treated far too gently by the press. A more adversarial approach to questioning them may have resulted in briefings being suspended even sooner, but it also would have more thoroughly exposed their quotidian mendacity.
After the bad faith complaint about Spicer and Huckabee Sanders was registered, White House Press Secretary and Communications Director Stephanie Grisham jumped in and gave a despicable defense for the suspending of White House press briefings. She said that Trump himself was upset with the “tenor” of questions asked by reporters and that the events had turned into “theater,” repeating an allegation she lobbed earlier in the segment when she said reporters were turning briefings into “theater” in the hopes of getting “famous.” It was a particularly ironic characterization given that it more aptly describes our fame-hound, reality television president’s approach to his office than the behavior of the media.
“They weren’t being good to [Trump’s] people, and he doesn’t like that. He’s very loyal to his people, and he put a stop to it,” she said, smirking as she described Trump’s authoritarian tendencies. Clearly, this woman is every bit as dishonest as her predecessors and has nothing to offer the country beyond rank propaganda.
Every single one of these people should be ashamed of themselves.
Watch the clip below.
The White House Press Secretary tells Fox & Friends that part of the reason Trump suspended press briefings is that the reporters "weren't being good to his people, and he doesn't like that. He's very loyal to his people, and he put a stop to it." pic.twitter.com/rHdgMjcQ7s
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) September 23, 2019
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Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.