Yesterday (Monday), White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held the first actual press briefing of the Trump regime. Last Saturday, what was supposed to be a press briefing, after keeping reporters waiting for a full hour past the scheduled start time, devolved into a stage for Spicer to berate the press for their reports of low turnout at the inauguration. Then Spicer turned tail and ran, taking not one single question from members of the press. Today’s was an obvious attempt to reset relations with the press after Saturday’s debacle and establish a more conventional style.
I start with a few of the more eye-roll moments:
- “I think sometimes we can disagree with the facts … But our intention is never to lie to you.”
- On Trump & climate: “… going to meet w/team, decide which policies best for environment but not to detriment of jobs/growth. a balance”. (This is not an either/or situation. Under President Obama, both were consistently addressed … can Trump do only one thing at a time? Can we get President Obama back?)
- Asked about the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, he says he does not “want to get in front of the president’s executive actions”, but he says the president wants to “maximise our use of natural resources”. (Destroy the land, water and wildlife, he means)
And my personal favourite:
Q: What is the unemployment rate?
Spicer: There are several version of that
Q: Trump at one point said it was 42%
Spicer: Too often in Washington we get our heads wrapped around a number, a statistic. For too long it’s been about what number are we looking at rather than what face are we looking at.
Newspeak or alternative truth? In reality, the unemployment rate is 4.7% as of the end of December, and has not been 42% at any point during President Obama’s tenure – the highest was 9.9% in January 2009, the month President Obama took office in the midst of a recession. Indeed, let us not be troubled with those pesky statistics and facts … after all, we now have ‘alternative facts’!
Most questions received vague non-answers, and frankly after reading most of it, I did not learn anything I didn’t already either know or surmise. Spicer was obviously trying to “play nice”, and when he entered the room, he smiled and said “Good afternoon”. Nonetheless, he did not seem comfortable. He started the briefing by reading from notes on the podium and rarely even looked up from his notes, reminding me of a 3rd grade child reading a report aloud to the class. His attempts at jokes fell flat, and he did not appear to even attempt to begin establishing the rapport he is going to need.
Here are links to the video of the press briefing (note that Spicer does not enter until 20:09, so I have set the link to begin the video at that point, as the first 20 minutes are nothing but people milling around, mumbling.) and the Washington Post annotated transcript.
In other, related news Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, appearing tonight on Fox News’ The First 100 Days, said that today’s briefing is just more evidence that members of the “elite media” are not going to treat President Donald Trump or his administration fairly. (Can we say “awwwwwwwww”?) What the Sam Heck … are the press supposed to treat him with kid gloves and bring him lollipops? “The reason I’d like to see them dramatically overhaul the entire operation of the White House and the press corps [is] you have this small, incestuous group of people.” Incestuous??? Did he say ‘incestuous’? “The press corps is so focused on their own belly buttons that it’s very hard for them to deal with what the country cares about and get to the big issues.”
Gingrich seems to be determined to occupy my radar tonight. Now he predicts that Trump will be re-elected in 2020 (if the majority of voters have their say, he won’t even be on the ballot, as he will have already have been impeached and replaced) if he does just two things.
“Ultimately this is about governing. There are two things he’s got to do between now and 2020: He has to keep America safe and create a lot of jobs. That’s what he promised in his speech. If he does those two things, everything else is noise. The average American isn’t paying attention to this stuff. They are going to look around in late 2019 and early 2020 and ask themselves if they are doing better. If the answer’s yes, they are going to say, ‘Cool, give me some more.’”
Grrrrrr …. Now Filosofa is beyond ANGRY!!! He apparently thinks we are all too stupid to worry our silly little heads about things like civil rights, foreign policy, environmental issues, and the like. He apparently thinks we are all so self-centered that all we care about is our own well-being! I plan to write to Mr. Gingrich and let him know exactly what I think. If anyone else wishes to, his mailing address is P.O. Box 550769, Atlanta, Georgia 30355. He also has a Facebook page. I have not been able to find a current email address for him, as he is no longer a federal employee. Yes, I realize it is a futile move and a waste of precious time, but this attitude is exactly why the lemmings are blindly playing ‘follow the leader’ and it is a slap in the face to those of us who are relatively intelligent, well-educated thinkers.
Well, it is time for me to step down from my soapbox tonight, but stay tuned later today, as I am working on more … the radar screen is filling up and I cannot keep up!