After a week of US public relations triumphs courtesy of Pepsi and United Airlines, The White House didn’t want to feel left out. In his latest press briefing Sean Spicer proved just how competent
he, sorry, Melissa McCarthy is. No, the outstandingly competent White House press secretary didn't get (too) angry at reporters and throw things, or chew copious amounts of gum, as his satirised counterpart does. But instead, he decided to compare Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad to Adolf Hitler. Generally speaking, Hitler comparisons are a terrible idea, because they are stupid and Mr Spicer proved why this is the case, saying, ‘Someone as despicable as Hitler didn’t even sink to the level of using chemical weapons’.
‘He wasn’t using gas on his own people in the same way in which Assad is doing now.’
Yes, you read that correctly, Sean Spicer said that Hitler didn't use gas ‘in the same way’ on his own people. Maybe Sean Spicer never made it into a history class, maybe he just chose the wrong words, but nowhere in society, let alone in his job is it acceptable ignore, or seem to ignore, the Holocaust. It is well known that Hitler did gas his own people, he unjustly murdered as many as 11 million of his own people, many with the poison gas Zyklon B, just because they were different. Most of these countless millions that the Nazi state systematically murdered were Jewish, and Sean Spicer’s statement came during the Jewish festival of Passover. The sort of remarks Mr Spicer made yesterday wouldn’t be acceptable at any time of year, but the week in which he made them made the storm surrounding these remarks, according to some, considerably worse.
Even with a completely unblemished history of service in the Press Briefing Room, these remarks would have been enough to warrant the incumbent to stand aside or be dismissed. But Sean Spicer’s history of service behind the podium isn’t a list of triumph after triumph. He has provided the public with reams of ‘alternative facts’ to counter the dreaded ‘Fake News’. We have been treated to facts such as the ‘largest audience to ever to witness an inauguration, period’. This wasn’t true, pictures of the crowd do not lie, of course, these pictures were met with anger and calls of ‘Fake News’. But unlike previous gaffes or his general demeanour, it is hard to laugh at Mr Spicer’s latest statement. Clicking on Mr Spicer’s, trending, name on Twitter will find that this latest gaffe isn’t just offensive, it is totally absurd.
During his press briefing Mr Spicer’s damage control was as disastrous as the initial comment saying that Hitler (in reference to gas) ‘brought them into the Holocaust centres, I understand that, what I'm saying, in the way that Assad used them, where he went into towns dropped them down to innocent, into the middle of towns’.
Of course, Mr Spicer claims that he has been misunderstood by an unsympathetic media, and added many clarifications. And yesterday took to CNN to set about the process of damage control.
And that wasn’t exactly an unmitigated success either, as he said, ‘I needed to make sure I clarify and not [be] any more of a distraction from the President's decisive action in Syria and the attempts that he's making to destabilise the region and rule out ISIS out of Syria.’ Of course, this was a slip of the tongue, but in Mr Spicer’s line of work constant slips of the tongue are not appropriate.
I think that Sean Spicer’s tenure as Press Secretary is drawing to a close, with calls for his resignation coming from Holocaust charities, such as the Anne Frank Foundation, Senators, Congressmen and Congresswomen in addition to members of the public. And this is probably for the best.
Previously I thought Dickens’ statement 'It was the best of times it was the worst of times' was an ahead of his time remark on Sean Spicer’s tenure as press secretary. Meaning that yes Shaun Spicer is rapturously funny, but is also a complete fool. But I now think the time for laughing at Mr Spicer is over. His position seems untenable.
Hopefully, President Trump can find someone better to convey his message to the world, because oh my does he need it, and surely you can’t find anyone so totally out of their depth as Sean Spicer. Maybe he should try people he really trusts... like his daughter or son-in-law, on second thought, they probably have too much on their plates already, but that is for another day.
Goodbye Spicy- maybe, (probably not- for now).