May 04, 2017

Neal Urwitz for Politico

White House press secretary Sean Spicer has one of the hardest jobs in Washington. He’s almost constantly under fire from an increasingly unsympathetic public and the frustrated reporters he works with every day. He must be the first White House press secretary whose battles in the briefing room are so memorable that they’ve inspired their own recurring sketch on “Saturday Night Live.” As the president has reportedly told people, “the guy gets great ratings.” And his missteps make news.

Witness Spicer’s comments in April that Adolf Hitler “didn’t sink to using chemical” weapons the way Syrian President Bashar Assad had. The comment was wrong, deeply hurtful and even led to accusations that he was denying the Holocaust.

Spicer quickly apologized, but his stumbles, both unnerving (as when he referred to concentration camps as “Holocaust centers”) and funny (like calling Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “Joe”), get headlines. His relationship with the press is, at best, fraught. Yet contrary to popular belief, Spicer is actually doing a good job. Not for reporters or the general public, who disagree with that assessment. But Spicer doesn’t answer to them; he answers to the president. And he has served President Donald Trump well in two important ways.

Read the full article at Politico.