Yesterday, after various Cabinet members assured America they were ready to combat Russian meddling, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders took questions on her own, and outright refused to disavow the Trump statement that “the press is the enemy of the people.”
She knew the question was coming, and she read from a scripted answer. I noticed that she does this. She does this a lot. She is, objectively, a terrible press secretary, regardless of her political persuasion. I mean, sure. Other press secretaries have referred to notes in front of them, but to read an answer? That’s just bad form.
And even worse, she reads rants. She never misses an opportunity to bash the press, and has written rants against the press in case she gets asked predictable questions. And when she gets unpredicatable questions or follow-ups, she often gives an evasive answer or says “I don’t know” or says “I believe I have answered the question” (when she clearly hasn’t).
It’s weird how Sanders regularly has no answer to predictable questions about the administration’s practices and policies but has pre-scripted rants against the media ready to go. It’s a trap, people.— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) August 2, 2018
Which raises the question: whose interests are served by these farcical “press conferences” ? Surely not those of the American people; the information gained is paltry. Obviously, it is the Administration that benefits. Why afford them the platform?
The way this White House is using the forum makes it a new game. From a strictly career advancement perspective, my guess is there are far better ways for a White House correspondent to spend time than sitting in that room.
It seems to me that the thing to do is: (a) pass the job of to interns or lower-level people and (b) don’t televise the damn thing unless there is actual news.
But nothing is useful about scripted rants.