So I’ve been one. A press flack. A spindoctor. An evil henchmen of a really disliked government.
The one thing I was NEVER EVER ALLOWED TO DO EVER was LIE. It was beaten into me on day one - if you do it you’ll be fired because you will be putting the reputation of everyone in this organization at risk.
Today, Sean Spicer could have:
Announced all the executive orders that are being signed (Look! Working Boss Working For You on Day One!
Average Americans don’t have the luxury of taking time off from work or can’t afford travel and we’re here for everyone
LOOK A BIRD
but he chose to elaborately present a lie. A big lie. A YUGE lie. About something that is totally inconsequential. At the end of the day, if only fourteen people and a squirrel turned up, Trump still got sworn in.
But he chose to lie that it was a record breaking crowd out there when it was below-average.
That is a PROBLEM. Because this is easypeasy stuff that is of little consequence. It would have been better to not even bring it up - let alone make it the whole reason you’re there - to lie?
What if there is an emergency? What if the lights go off or SARS comes back? Because I was in the middle of both those things as well. And that’s when it was really important that reporters trusted me and the information I was giving and that the information we were sending out and the accuracy of it. Lives were at stake.
You lie to a reporter once, no one will ever believe you again. His bridge with the press corps is burned.
And you’re not upholding democracy by lying for your guy, you’re in fact doing the opposite of that. Lies coming out of a press office are every day in a fascist authoritarian regime.
There is a rule with political staffers: you get ordered by the boss to go out and lie? You quit on the spot. Because you’re paid in tax dollars and you are responsible to the people – all of them.
UPDATE: The President’s Chief of Staff is supporting the Press Secretary in lying. He has said he will fight the free press. Kelley Anne Conway is now talking about “Alternative Truths”. They have doubled down on a lie with the entire White House behind it. And again? This is something inconsequential. People weren’t there, but he still got sworn in. What other alternative truths are they going to try to tell you - and what will they do if you don’t repeat their lies? This is *Day Two*, everyone.
“Here’s something odd: there is a cat hovering in the men’s bathroom at
the radio station here. He seems perfectly happy and healthy, but it’s
floating about four feet off the ground next to the sink. Doesn’t seem
to be able to move from its current hover-spot. If you pet him, he
purrs, and he’ll rub on your body like a normal cat if you get close
enough. Fortunately, because he’s right by the sink, it was pretty easy
to leave some water and food where he could get it, and it’s nice to
have a station pet. Wish it wasn’t trapped in a hovering prison in the
men’s bathroom, but listen: no pet is perfect. It becomes perfect when you learn to accept it for what it is.“