Feb 27, 2017: Spicer Plays Rough | Oscars Go Left | Witches' Revolt | Trump's Steak
1. Going Rogue: The Spicer Defense
All weekend long, the Blue Twittersphere hammered Press Secretary Sean Spicer for being paranoid and out of control. First, he excluded some big media outlets from an off-camera media gaggle. Then Politico reported he was checking the phones of White House staffers for leaks.
But Breitbart and the Federalist Papers Project seemed to be trying to reposition the narrative and possibly justify Spicer’s behavior with an explanation. In almost identical stories, both messaged about leaks from the Department of Homeland Security and blamed a high-level D.H.S. official, David Grannis, whom they called an "Obama-era holdover." Here is the version from the Federalist Papers:
Some bureaucrats at the Homeland Security Department have gone “rogue” and have leaked an incomplete report critical of President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration. The Associated Press first picked up the story, leaking the report that concludes that citizenship is an “unlikely indicator” of terrorism threats to the United States. The report is authentic, DHS spokeswoman Gillian Christiansen said Friday, but it was not a final, comprehensive review of the government’s intelligence.
What We’re Watching:
The White House continues to position its actions as a legitimate response to legacy holdovers who are out to get Trump.
2. Divided We Stand?
So after Sean Spicer banned The New York Times, CNN, Politico, et al., from the gaggle,” we were interested in whether anyone from the deeply conservative and alt-right media (not the relatively moderate Weekly Standard types) would stand up for the Mainstream Media. We didn’t find much.
RedState, a conservative political blog site with 3.5 million monthly views that has been mostly anti-Trump, did weigh in with a mixed message: “Trump Vindictive, Media Lying, We all Suffer……”
“To be sure, there is some merit to the argument that conservative media should stand with those attacked by the Trump Administration just as those who are now attacked did stand by Fox News when it was maligned by the Obama Administration. It is, I think, incredibly fair for people like Jake Tapper, who spoke out against Obama’s treatment of Fox News, to be supported when his network is now facing something similar.
However, let’s not pretend that the media’s predicament is unwarranted. They have set themselves up, with a most violent fervor, to be the opposition party to the president, reporting anything against him with a ferocity that lay dormant for the past eight years. Their sudden Journalistic Renaissance has nothing to do with relocating its way and everything to do with partisan ideology. They have gone into this fight knowing who Donald Trump is.”
What We’re Noticing:
Sometimes, the Mainstream Media doesn’t realize how self-important it sounds to others. Across the Red Twittersphere, there is not a lot of sympathy for the news outlets that weren’t allowed into Spicer’s “small office” but could listen in on the goings-on right outside the door. Meanwhile, Salena Zito of The New York Post had an interesting argument that the animosity toward national mainstream media may have to do with the demise of local newspapers.
3. Oscars So Liberal (Our Sequel)
So there was no ignoring the political slant to Jimmy Kimmel’s jabs, the blue ribbons on the red carpet representing support of illegal immigrants, or the standing ovation for Meryl Streep, whom Donald Trump had previously called overrated in a tweet. But the Red Twittersphere perceived bias well before the awards began. For starters, there was #boycottoscars2017, which urged Trump supporters to use the power of their numbers to remind actors of their real place:
Lori Hendry@Lrihendry with 142K followers sent out this message late Sunday:
Christi Chat @ChristiChat with 199k followers:
Of course, it can be hard to be critical and say you are not watching. Here is how Ann Coulter managed it all while getting 600k likes in 6 minutes:
GET A LOAD OF THESE SELF-IMPORTANT AIRHEADS! (Tweeted without watching.)— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) February 27, 2017
Meanwhile Breitbart, went straight for the jugular: Kimmel Slams USA: Show is Being Broadcast in ‘More than 225 Countries that Now Hate Us.'
As for any comments on the “La La Land”-“Moonlight” Best Picture screw-up? As we said, you can’t comment on specifics if you aren’t watching.
4. She’s Back……………
With all the bad news swirling around their president, including those unpleasant reports of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus trying to use the F.B.I. to knock down rumors of collaborations with Russia, Hillary Clinton’s reappearance on a DNC video Saturday was a welcome distraction for the Red Media. The timing couldn’t be better, with the Right’s preoccupation with a gone-viral call for witches all over America to cast a spell to bind Trump and those who abet him. The first “mass spell” ritual, which received an endorsement from the singer Lana Del Rey (whom the Right was quick to ridicule), took place Friday night at the stroke of midnight.
Ann Coulter @AnnCoulter got 7.9k retweets and 23k likes for this dig at Hillary that referenced the resistance magic:
Witches around the world gathered at midnight last night to cast a spell on Trump & his supporters. It was good to see Hillary out again.— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) February 25, 2017
5. Breaking News: Trump Eats a Steak
The pool reporter for the Washington press corps was kept waiting outside the BLT Steakhouse, where Donald Trump dined Saturday night. But Benny Johnson, a writer for the popular conservative media outlet Independent Journal Review, had a ringside seat inside. He had received an early tip about the dinner and covered the event with minute-by-minute reverence:
“8:45 PM: Trump is served his entree. According to a waiter, who wished to remain anonymous:
‘The President ordered a well-done steak. An aged New York strip. He ate it with catsup as he always does. The sides and appetizers on the table were shared. Three jumbo shrimp cocktails were delivered before the meal. At one point, the President looked at his watch and remarked ”They are filming 'Saturday Night Live' right now. Can't wait to see what they are gonna do to me this week.“ It was hard to serve him because he is so funny and relaxed, it makes you laugh.’
Trump talks jovially with his guests for the next two hours. His iconic hand motions fill the space as dinner is served.”
We are not sure of the significance of Trump’s eating catsup with his steak (except that it made for a lot of clever Twitter jokes), but we trust IJR will have a follow-up.