Why I’m falling in love with Sean Spicer

Why I’m falling in love with Sean Spicer, by Matthew Walther.

Under Trump, the White House press briefing has changed out of all recognition — at last.

I hate to admit it, but I think I’m falling in love with Sean Spicer. No doubt Donald Trump’s stocky, gum-chewing, sartorially challenged press secretary will strike many readers as an unlikely object of passion. But it’s hard not to get red-hot for a man capable of inspiring so much outrage among the most boring, self-important people in America. …

During Obama’s time in office, the briefing always reminded me of that old cartoon where the wolf and the sheepdog enjoy a quiet lunch together — people who go to the same parties and pretend to cry at one another’s funerals asking niggling questions and feigning outrage over non-controversies. …

What was once a boring tickle-fest for white liberals is now a kind of orgy of pouting and breathless self-aggrandisement. For the mainstream press, Spicer’s first offence was to install screens allowing him to take questions from reporters across the country: an agreeably egalitarian sop to the hard-working journos of places such as Fall River, Massachusetts. Even worse has been his lack of deference to national newspapers and cable TV channels in favour of Breitbart, LifeSiteNews and other dubious right-wing outlets. …

If the press briefing is a circus, the honorary ringmaster is Glenn Thrush of the New York Times, who has built his reputation on in-depth interviews with Hillary Clinton, eliciting such gems as, ‘Well, but fly on an airplane, the whole thing makes no sense to me. Does it make sense to you?’ Thrush’s trademark is his fedora, which he probably thinks makes him look like one of those haggard old newspapermen from the days when reporters were more or less perpetually sozzled. He must be one of the only people in America who can pace around holding his phone sideways saying, ‘Hey, can I kiss your ass for like two minutes?’ with a straight face.