Note: my updated version of this post. I accidentally posted my rough draft and it was rough — hope I did better this time
The news is that President Trump’s press secretary Sarah Sanders was kicked out of a Virginia restaurant along with family members because of who her boss is — the intensely divisive Donald Trump.
It does seem rude and not even right that she was booted out.
I wonder if she has a civil rights case (probably not. I think that only applies to people of color or of some kind of third gender — okay I am being a little sarcastic, something I will accuse Ms. Sanders of being in this post).
Apparently though Ms. Sanders took it all in stride, tweeting that she tries to be civil to people even when she does not agree with their politics (sometimes, though, I see incivility in her facial expressions, tone of her responses, and bodily gestures during press conferences).
I don’t even like the idea or institution of the presidential press secretary. I don’t even know when this institution began (I could look that up I guess). But from Nixon’s Ron Ziegler to Trump’s Sarah Sanders it is apparent that their main or only function is to mislead by spin. Everyone knows this. So why do we even listen to or read what they say? I suppose because in the past we have not had daily immediate access to the most powerful person in the world, who is the American president.
But now we have Trump who loves to post whatever fleeting thought is going through his brain at the time on Twitter for the whole world to see.
(I have to confess I don’t even know how to directly access that — Google it I guess — but I am always seeing the tweets in the online news reports).
But what I want to comment on is Ms. Sanders. She of course faces a combative press. One can argue how combative reporters should be but surely no thinking person would suggest that they should just accept bull crap and ask soft ball questions — what would be the point?
Whenever I watch Ms. Sanders answer questions, that is ones she does not like (and that would be anything that does not set up a positive spin for her boss — i.e. softball questions) she gets a stern and defiant look on her face and delivers a response (or sometimes refuses) in a cynical monotone reeking of sarcasm and defiance and even sometimes reproach for someone to dare ask something uncomfortable.
While I have since read that most or all of it was set up, I miss the days when President John F. Kennedy held press conferences and made jokes with uncomfortable questions sometimes.
I watched the tape of Ms. Sanders being mocked at the recent annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner by a trashy female comedian. While that event is known for its irreverances and those who attend must understand that, I thought the comedian’s monologue was of bounds even so.
(Trump was so incensed for being mocked by Barrack Obama years ago he ran for president and the rest is history, well and the present too.)
But, you know, Ms. Sanders could lighten up.
It must be hard to be on the side where your job is to evade the truth and at the same time difficult to be on the side where your job is to somehow get at the truth but be personally maligned in the process.
This is a generality, but people on the political right, and that takes in a big swath of folks who have different versions of conservatism, seem convinced that most of the press or “media” as they always call it (to them that means liar) are simply out there to get ratings or readership and are the enemies of the nation (the fourth estate).
I don’t know the motivations of everyone. I did work in the journalism small time for some 15 years and covered mostly local politics. I learned that unless someone agrees with what your story seems to say they are convinced that you have slanted it. How they come to their own conclusions I have not a clue. They just know what they know I guess.
I will admit that on the national scale in our modern form of journalism or what passes for it there is certainly a tendency to appeal to the middle and the left (with the exception of Fox News, created to attract and pander to the heretofore overlooked demographic of reactionary viewers). I could get into a whole long discussion here on all that but such is not the point of this post.
I just think it is sad that we have gotten to the point where someone such as Ms. Sanders is kicked out of a restaurant over politics.
But you reap what you sow, Ms. Sanders.
My apologies for using that reap what you sow Bible quote so much in my posts — just could not come up with something better or more appropriate.
Galatians 6:7: …for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.►
According to Wikipedia, FDR was the first president to designate someone to spend full time as a press secretary and be designated as such.