Sean Spicer:  “The Briefing—Politics, The Press, and The President”


By Debra Tash

(Editor’s Note:  Sean Spicer’s book “The Briefing—Politics, The Press, and The President” is published by Regnery Publishing, a division of Salem Media Group, and is available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble stores.)

SIMI VALLEY— “Today’s media is obsessed with palace intrigue instead of issues of substance, prioritizing the number of clicks, viewers, and subscriptions,” said Sean Spicer, (a speaker Sunday afternoon at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library) in his  2018 book “The Briefing—Politics, The Press, and The President.

On Sunday afternoon, July 29th, 2018, AM 870 The Answer sponsored a book signing and interview by its morning hosts, Brian Whitman and Jennifer Horn of the Trump Administration’s first press secretary, Sean Spicer.  

From Spicer’s book, The Briefing: “The ‘always-on’ nature of online news is driving journalists to prioritize being first over being right.  The prospect of becoming a cable star is prompting previously obscure journalists to favor theatrics and outrage over insight.  The inability of any journalist in the briefing room to call out the bad or misleading reporting or antics of another reporter for fear of retribution is a problem.

“And journalists rather than critique and improve each other’s reporting, are captives of a pack mentality—driven largely by the shrinking economics of the news business, a sector in which you’d better be nice to your peers because you might need their goodwill to get your next job.

“There were other corrupting influences as well, such as the disappearing wall between news and opinion.  The great journalists of the post-World War II era (at least most of them) were scrupulous about keeping their partisan views and opinions to themselves. Now, thanks to Twitter and cable news, many journalists tweet opinions and impressions that their job titles lend an aura of objectivity to.”

White House Press Secretary and communications director Sean Spicer, described by some in the press as an “Irish devout Catholic”  and a frequent public speaker and commentator grew up in Rhode Island but now lives in Alexandria, Virginia with his family.

When asked by morning host Jennifer Horn as to when Spicer felt Trump could actually win, the former press secretary answered, “Around Iowa.”  Spicer could see that Trump was unconventional, and in ways, disruptive.  He credited the President as having good instincts.  Trump understandings messaging.  Close to the election, by monitoring key battleground states, they knew they were going to ride a wave.

Brian Whitman and Jennifer Horn

According to ‘The Briefing;’ “The party of Lincoln and Reagan has an inclusive message of opportunity for all, but many Republican politicians had little interest and saw little benefit in expanding the message beyond our base of middle-class, suburban, white voters.  Too many expected that African Americans, Hispanics  and Asians would naturally come our way because they shared our Republican values and stood to benefit from Republican policies.

“But that’s not how politics works.  You have to make the ask—and too many of our candidates weren’t doing that.   We weren’t in their neighborhoods, churches, and businesses, and the vote totals showed it.”

Spicer’s national book tour has not been without controversy with his book signing interrupted by a protester while in New York City on Wednesday and in Middletown, Rhode Island on Friday.

Sean Spicer

The former press secretary admitted that his first day on the job was not his best. He took it on himself to refute the Trump inauguration crowd size being ridiculed by the media  It proved a big mistake, gleaning sharp criticism.  One of his first tasks was to take a photo of the bust of Martin Luther King to prove Trump hadn’t had it removed from the Oval Office.

Spicer left the White House last August after what mainstream media called a  “tumultuous relationship” with the White House press corps.   Meanwhile, President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter:  “A friend of mine and a man who has truly seen politics and life as few others ever will, has written a great new book.  It is a story told with both heart and knowledge.  Really good, go get it!”

In his interview at the Reagan, Spicer said he knew it was time to leave when he became the story.  It was difficult and he knew he was closing a chapter in his life.

According to Spicer, One of the most memorable aspects of the job was being able (to) fly around the world on Air Force One with the president.  Representing the United States in another country is an honor.

From the book, “Working in the White House and speaking for the president had been a dream of mine.  That dream was now over.

“I spent my career in service to powerful people, always in a supporting role to someone else who played the part of the principal—a member of Congress, an RNC chairman, a president of the United States.  Now, I was my own principal.  Now, at last, I was free to be my own man.”

Debra Tash is Editor-in-Chief of, past president for Citizens Alliance for Property Rights, business executive and award-winning author, residing in Somis.

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