If they haven’t already realized it, the next four years for White House reporters will be anything but easy.
Case and point: Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s first press conference Saturday —also the administration’s first full day in office.
When Spicer sent out a brief that there would be a press conference that afternoon, many journalists assumed it would be to discuss Trump’s recent visit to the CIA or the Women’s March on Washington. Instead, as described in the White House pool report: “[Spicer] delivered angry remarks regarding what he considered inaccurate and unfair press coverage over the past 48 hours, including tweets about an MLK bust in the Oval office, the crowd size coverage, and the tone of the POTUS’s CIA visit earlier.”
“I know our first official press briefing is Monday, but I wanted to give you a few updates on the president’s activities,” he started, and it went downhill from there.
His statement was peppered with falsehoods, much of which the media has fact-checked. But the biggest lie was when he said “this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period — both in person and around the globe.”
He also said that he would not hold back with the media: “We’re going to hold the press accountable.”
After briefly discussing upcoming meeting with leaders from Mexico, Canada and the UK, he walked out without taking questions — an unprecedented move. This all in about five minutes.
As follow-up media reports have shown, Spicer’s inaccuracies bringing forward questions about the whether the usually symbiotic relationship between the White House communications team and the White House press corps—one built in many ways on trust—can be maintained with this administration.
Unprecedented may end up being the word of 2017!