For the above tweet, Maggie Haberman of the New York Times has caught unholy hell from Twitter. It's not an entirely uncommon sentiment for Haberman, who serves as the Times' White House correspondent and is basically on the Trump beat. But it's completely tone deaf, since nobody is forcing these people to serve as a mouthpiece for the president, and watching the reaction unfold has been glorious.
Someone else went right to the “Paper of Record”'s recently lambasted” “Say Something Nice About Trump series.
A few well-timed GIFs followed:
And confusion about whether or not Haberman was talking about “comms” or “commas.”
To be fair to Haberman, the consensus reporting has it that Sean Spicer and company had about an hour to prepare for the news of former FBI Director James Comey’s firing. So the immediate message was never going to be smooth or streamlined. She’s right on that.
But the main issue people on Twitter seem to be taking with Haberman is that access-based journalism (which one has to perform as a White House correspondent) leads to these sorts of shoddy defenses. There needs to be some degree of currying favor or the relationship will breakdown. And the line for reporters between sycophant for the powerful and truth teller for the people can be perilously thin.
Sean Spicer and Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ fuck-ups aren’t initially their own. They’re the people cleaning up the fuck-ups. That’s basically the main job of the White House Press team in any administration. But lying about crowd sizes and picking fights with black female reporters isn’t part of that job. And unless they’re being chained up behind the White House bowling alley, they can Peggy Olson power-walk right out the White House front door.
And now, here’s a photo of Sean Spicer between some bushes.