For eight minutes, Breitbart's Charlie Spiering interviewed Sean Spicer, looking into the wrong camera, stumbling over his words, spacing out, sitting silently for long, awkward stretches — all with CNN running on the large flatscreens behind the President's spokesliar.
Ok I just ripped the whole Breitbart interview because as many people should be able to enjoy this as humanly possible pic.twitter.com/Lyfu5QPQus
— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) February 10, 2017
It is simultaneously hilarious and awful, and when you consider that Spicer et all have declared war on the actual White House press corps in order to bring in the peepul's news (e.g. Breitbart and its junior AV staffer Charlie Spiering), it's enough to make you wanna cry.
I don't think this is what Jay Rosen had in mind when he advised the media to Send the Interns.
When I say #sendtheinterns I mean it literally: take a bold decision to put your most junior people in the briefing room. Recognize that the real story is elsewhere, and most likely hidden. That's why the experienced reporters need to be taken out of the White House, and put on other assignments.
Look: they can't visit culture war upon you if they don't know where you are. The press has to become less predictable. It has to stop functioning as a hate object. This means giving something up. The dream of the White House briefing room and the Presidential press conference is that accountability can be transacted in dramatic and televisable moments: the perfect question that puts the President or his designate on the spot, and lets the public see — as if in a flash — who they are led by. This was always an illusion. Crumbling for decades, it has become comically unsustainable under Trump.
Please note: I am not saying that as a beat the White House is unimportant, or that its pronouncements can be ignored. I'm not saying: devote less attention to Trump. Rather: change the terms of this relationship. Make yourself more elusive. In the theater of resentment where you play such a crucial part, relinquish that part.
Send the Interns [Jay Rosen/Pressthink]