It’s only been two weeks—two long, excruciating, chaotic weeks—since the Trump presidency became an undeniable reality, and yet it feels like a virtual lifetime. There’s the near-constant barrage of executive orders, seemingly without sense or legality, and then there’s an entire White House team whose sole job, it seems, is to stand in front of a camera and spew words, truthful or otherwise.
Donald Trump’s counselor Kellyanne Conway might be the queen of the glib and dishonest cable news appearance—between “alternative facts” and the fictitious Bowling Green Massacre, she’s set the bar high. But Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s aggressive, evasive and fib-filled daily press briefings are a close and gaining second right behind Conway’s television appearances.
In only two weeks, Spicer has managed to lie about the numbers of people that attended Trump’s inauguration, berate the press for reporting on the actual numbers, suggest that a five-year-old child is a terrorist, downplay the Holocaust, argue with the media about the linguistic implications of the word “ban,” and confuse Frederick Douglass with a living person. In short, Spicer has had a very busy and very bad two weeks. In fairness to him, it’s unlikely to get better. When you’ve volunteered to spin racist, xenophobic strongarm tactics to the press, to defend them as good from the country, you’ve committed yourself to a soulless existence in which fabulism spun as truth is the only escape from self-imposed self-alienation. It’s going to be a long four years, for Spicer and for us.
Video by Melissa Murray.