Annoyance or Racist Sexism?
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Yesterday was an especially trying press briefing for Sean Spicer.
Let's be honest. Every press briefing is difficult for our press secretary. The reporter's in the press pool circle him like vultures, diving in hard with ridiculously repetitive questions, some just purely ridiculous.
This administration has gone to great lengths to be transparent to the American people. We have a president that isn't afraid to use Twitter, so we know for the first time in our lives what the president's thoughts are with no filter.
When was the last time there was a daily press briefing? The entire administration is working tirelessly around the clock trying to recessitate our dying nation, puling out all the stops to get our pulse back.
Speaking of repetitive, do you know how many times Spicer had to say the phrase, 'As I've said' or some other close variation? Just in yesterday's press brief, on March 28th, eight times. And that showed restraint. There were questions that he answered, and the answer he gave was a good sized paragraph long. But was hearing a thorough answer like that good enough for our top mainstream reporters?
Of course not.
On questions that Spicer answers many times, some daily, he must repeat the answer at least once.
Then there is the content of the questions.
Questions that are really directed to others, like the Ford Motor company, or the privately owned coal mining industry. Questions that shouldn't be speculated on by the press secretary himself, much less the press.
One reporter by the name of Francesca actually asked him if Congressman Nunes should recuse himself from the whole Russia debacle!
During the course of this conference that resembled thirty dentists all trying to extract the teeth from one Press secretary- a reporter named April Ryan from NBC just couldn't let the Russia thing go, even though her questions had very little to do with that.
At this point, Spicer has had to answer three lengthy questions twice, and he had been very sharp about not answering any trick questions.
In fact, this is how Spicer handles the situation everyday. He's kept his cool, been respectful and as repetitive as the reporters desired.
The problem is that the press is water, and Spicer is a huge boulder. Although the stone is very heavy, dense and strong, the water is relentless. Just a constant small drip, drip, drip everyday, and the water soon wears a hole straight through the rock. The press, although not as powerful, are channeled straight at the Trump administration, and Spicer is the frontman.
By the time Spicer had moved on to April, he was a bit worn down. She took the chance to make him look agitated, and the water went from a drip, drip to a steady stream.
"Sean, thank you. Sean, don't look so happy to see me." The first punch delivered and received. The narrative set.
This one statement makes most people think Spicer had a direct grudge against this sweet looking lady with the soft voice. April went on in for a second and third and did not disappoint.
"How does this administration revamp it's image? Two and a half months in, you've got the Yates story today... you've got Russia, you've got wire tapping.."
"No we don't have that." Spicer interrupted.
"There are investigations on Capitol Hill..." April persisted. This time it was Spicer who delivered.
"No, no, I get it...but you keep, I've said it from the day that I got here.. that there is no connection. .. If the President puts Russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that's a Russian connection..." Great burn. Spicer definitely hit the mark there, so April went into victim mode for the rest of the exchange.
"It's beyond that. You're making it into.." April tried to get another shot in.
'Well no, I appreciate your agenda here.." Second massive burn. April is gonna need some aloe when this is over.
"It's not my agenda." April snapped.
Whose agenda is it?
Sounds like she knows who it belongs to.
Spicer then goes into an answer that he has to repeat twice, just like most of the answers he has to give. Here is the second try, after he noted that she was shaking her head at him.
"Okay, but understand this- that at some point- the facts are what they are. Every single person who has been briefed on this situation with respect to Russia- Republican, Democrat, Obama apointee.. have all come to the same conclusion. At some point April you're going to have to take 'no' for an answer, with respect to whether or not there was collusion." What a mouthful, and Spicer has to say answers like this over and over and over again.
April changes strategy. Back to the start.
"But my question was 'How do you change the perception of. ." April said meekly, as if Spicer had morphed into a huge scary monster during the course of his answer(s).
"We're going to do everything we're doing to make sure.. that what the President told the American people he was going to do to fulfill those pledges and promises he made. To bring back jobs, to grow the economy, to keep our nation safe- that's what he's been focused on since day one. We are going to keep focusing on that every single day." There really is no better answer for April's question. Nothing will revamp the administration's image more than delivering.
April hasn't run out of tricks however, she pops in a question here, still pretending that Spicer is breathing fire and snorting bombs at her.
"But when Condi Rice comes on Friday- Condi Rice did not support the President. She did not go to the convention... what is on the agenda, and how is their relationship? Has it healed since 2006 when he used a very negative word to describe her?"
Wow. Condi Rice? Talk about left field.
"It's interesting that you ask those two questions back to back. On the one hand you are saying, what are we doing to improve our image, and then here he is meeting someone who hasn't been a big supporter of his." Spicer caught it effortlessly however, he must be used to such underhanded tactics.
"But he called her that negative name in 2006." April sounded like a disapproving mother or auntie.
"No, no. But you put it, April, hold on." Spicer was collecting his thoughts. Saying what needed to be said. "It seems you are hell bent on trying to make sure that whatever image you want to tell about this White House stays because at the end of the day.." He was cut off again though.
"I was just reporting what.." Ah, but two can play at that game.
Spicer launched back into the very same answer he had just given, because apparently the White House Press are like children that need everything stated at least twice.
"Okay, but you know what? You're asking me a question and I'm going to answer it. Which is, the President- I'm sorry, please stop shaking your head again."
Then the diatribe of how the President is trying to reach out to those who support him, and those who don't support him and he is trying to bring them together and move on an agenda to help every American.
To try to find common ground between the Republicans and Democrats for national, personal, and economic security. To create jobs, safer communities, better education and healthcare for all Americans from both sides is the aisle, in order to make our country stronger.
Of course April had to give it one more try. If nothing else, this woman is tenacious.
"About Russia and Tillerson on Friday?" April asked.
Spicer admitted he was not prepared to speak on that and decided to close with the following.
"We're not at Friday yet, I will have a readout when that's done."
After this the press was dismissed. Because April sucked up everyone else's time there were no other questions.
No sooner had this conference ended and the Internet was lit up with Spicer's racist, sexist behavior.
Some Internet paper I've never heard of named Mashable led with this line, "Angry Sean Spicer tells April Ryan, a veteran black female journalist to 'stop shaking' her head."
ABC had an article by the Associated Press called, "Sean Spicer tells reporter to 'stop shaking your head'.
Business Insider was not to be outdone when they posted this, " 'Stop shaking your head'. Sean Spicer unloads on a reporter who asks about Trump/Russia connections."
The Washington Post: "Sean Spicer loses his cool: 'Stop shaking your head'.
Oh and this one by the New York Daily was my favorite, just because of the outlandish slander, "Sean Spicer and Bill O'Reilly continue the age old American tradition of disrespecting black women".
#BlackWomenAtWork trended the entire day on Twitter. There were several tweets talking about how oppressed women were, especially black women.
Who was the main culprit?
The dreaded white male. The actual sex and race that Spicer was unfortunate enough to be born into.
But of course not nearly as unfortunate as the black woman, which fit the bill for April Ryan.
So the White House press secretary had a bad day, and burned a black female reporter a couple of times for being obtuse. After countless days of the whole pool being dense.
Guilty of losing his cool, and calling her out on her 'agenda'?
Or an open sexist and racist in the White House abusing the press?
Well America -you decide.