The Trump administration is 24 hours old and it’s hopping mad.
I know our first official press briefing is going to be on Monday, but I wanted to give you a few updates on the President’s activities. But before I get to the news of the day, I think I’d like to discuss a little bit of the coverage of the last 24 hours.
Press Secretary Spicer launched the new administration’s press relations in remarkable fashion. He opened up in somewhat civil tone but then immediately veered into an astonishing bitchfest. He called out the major media for being reckless deviants and shameful liars. And the greenhorn in the press room backed up his spittle flecked assertions by making use of a novel tool: bald faced lying.
…photographs of the inaugural proceedings were intentionally framed in a way, in one particular tweet, to minimize the enormous support that had gathered on the National Mall. This was the first time in our nation’s history that floor coverings have been used to protect the grass on the Mall.
USA Today: “Similar ground cover was used on the Mall during President Obama’s 2013 inauguration, which was more heavily attended.” Relax folks, we’re only getting started.
…in years past the grass eliminated this visual. This was also the first time that fencing and magnetometers went as far back on the Mall, preventing hundreds of thousands of people from being able to access the Mall as quickly as they had in inaugurations past.
Spicer contends the “irresponsible and reckless” press were using photographs from the hours before the swearing in. Not by a long shot.
Obama 2009 on the left, Trump on the right. CNN: “The photo of Trump’s inauguration was taken from television during his speech — peak time for the crowd.” The comparison looks even worse if you swap the sides.
Who you gonna believe? Your lyin’ eyes? Or the president’s insecurity? […also CNN, in a second post: “In fact, a United States Secret Service spokesperson told CNN, no magnetometers were used on the Mall.” –ed.] More Spicer:
…let’s go through the facts. We know that from the platform where the President was sworn in, to 4th Street, it holds about 250,000 people. From 4th Street to the media tent is about another 220,000. And from the media tent to the Washington Monument, another 250,000 people. All of this space was full when the President took the Oath of Office.
Not close. Here’s another comparison by CNN, this time from lower elevation and looking the opposite way. You can see the Washington Monument in the background and “all of this space” is not remotely full.
Oh dear Sean ain’t done yet.
We know that 420,000 people used the D.C. Metro public transit yesterday, which actually compares to 317,000 that used it for President Obama’s last inaugural.
Question: How pathetic a press agent are you when USA Today is knocking down your best stuff? Within minutes? Damn:
“Those numbers are wrong. According to the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority, the system saw 1.1 million one-way trips for President Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, and 782,000 for his second inauguration in 2013.
“The number for Inauguration Day 2017: 570,557, according to WMATA.”
Amazing fail. Now, and finally, the denouement. The whole big fat point of Sean’s tantrum:
This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period — both in person and around the globe.
Does Sean believe that crap? Or is he only doing his job? I bet we’ll be playing this game for many weeks to come. Has the press secretary slipped into stark insanity, or merely a transient psychosis? Get yer Hot Takes ready.
These attempts to lessen the enthusiasm of the inauguration are shameful and wrong…
We could say the same for your surreal attempts to bend the press kiddies over your knee and spank them. But that would be unpatriotic, so good on you! Stupid bloody press day! I am The Mouthpiece, goo goo gajoob!
Add: CNN has posted a second piece on this WTF press conference. Mmm it isn’t pretty.
Spicer, at times almost yelling while reading a prepared statement, took no questions. CNNMoney called his cell phone a few minutes later; he did not answer.
Some longtime White House correspondents were stunned by the tirade.
Glenn Thrush of The New York Times wrote on Twitter, “Jaw meet floor.”
“I’ve run out of adjectives,” wrote Chuck Todd, the moderator of NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Karen Tumulty of the Washington Post said Spicer’s assertion about “what you guys should be writing” was “chilling.”
Reactions were overwhelmingly negative, and not just from journalists.
Ari Fleischer, who had the same job as Spicer during the George W. Bush administration, tweeted, “This is called a statement you’re told to make by the President. And you know the President is watching.”
And Brian Fallon, who was in line to become press secretary if Hillary Clinton had won, wrote, “Sean Spicer lacks the guts or integrity to refuse orders to go out and lie. He is a failure in this job on his first full day.”
Conservative commentator Bill Kristol said “it is embarrassing, as an American, to watch this briefing by Sean Spicer from the podium at the White House. Not the RNC. The White House.”
36 hours into the new administration.