Criticism Is ‘Demoralizing’ For Team Trump, Says White House Press Secretary Spicer (VIDEO)
At his first press conference on Saturday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer berated the media for accurately describing the crowd sizes at Donald Trump’s inauguration, and how much smaller they were President Barack Obama’s and the Women’s March protests. He then marched out of the room without taking questions. On Monday, his press conference was somewhat more open and normal, which isn’t saying a whole lot. The campaign to pressure the press continued in a more subtle guise. Spicer described the press’s role in the new administration as being responsible to protect Trump’s sensitive feelings.
Asked by CNN’s Jim Acosta–whom Trump berated as “fake news” and refused to call on at his last press appearance–why the Trump team even made a big deal about the reporting on crowd sizes, Spicer described the nascent administration as “frustrated” with the press. Spicer said,
“He’s gone out there and defied the odds over and over and over again. He keeps getting told what he can’t do by this narrative that’s out there. And he exceeds it every single time. And I think there’s an overall frustration when you turn on the television over and over again and get told that there’s this narrative that you didn’t win, you weren’t going to run, you can’t pick up this state,”
Spicer then rattled off various ways that Trump has supposedly defied odds, including winning states that Republicans hadn’t won since Reagan. Spicer continued,
“Over and over again there’s this constant attempt to undermine his credibility and the movement that he represents. And it’s frustrating for not just him, but I think so many of us that are trying to work to get this message out.”
He said the administration’s relationship with the media has to be a “two-way street” and the media needs to stop characterizing Trump’s “fighting for jobs” as something that “can’t be true.”
Referring to the process of cabinet hearings, Spicer added that it’s “demoralizing to turn on the TV day after day and hear ‘can’t do this, this guy’s not gonna get confirmed, no way they’re gonna go through.'”
Acosta asked Spicer, “Isn’t that just part of the conversation that happens in Washington (inaudible) comes with being President of the United States, and working at the White House.”
Spicer forcefully responded, “No it isn’t Jim … I’ve never seen it like this.” Spicer then described Trump’s supposed great support, and said that hearing “No, no, no,” is frustrating.
So there you have it. The strategy to marginalize and delegitimize the media will have at least two separate tracks. On one track, the media will be berated, intimidated, ignored called names and told they’re “fake.” One the second track, when they report facts that are difficult to run away from, they will be told that they’re mean and horrible for digging and criticizing, because Donald is a gentle, sensitive soul who is misunderstood. The Trump administration’s media relations campaign begins, from day one, with an “I’m not a bully, you’re the bully!” strategy.
Indeed, none of us have ever “seen it like this.”
Watch Spicer Defend Trump’s Sensitive Feelings:
[brid video=”108364″ player=”5260″ title=”Spicer to CNN the narrative is ” News Donald Trump”]
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images
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Marc Belisle is the Reverb Press World Affairs Editor. He is a writer, activist and teacher. He has a Master’s degree in International Conflict Analysis from the Brussels School of International Studies. READ MORE BY MARC.