White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer attacked press coverage of President Donald Trump’s inauguration Saturday and said that the White House will hold the press “accountable.” Journalists from a variety of outlets expressed dismay about Spicer’s statement.
Spicer’s attack on the press came after President Trump visited the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters and said he has a “running war with the media, they are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth.” Trump was upset that much of press coverage of his Friday inauguration was devoted to the idea that the event attracted less visitors to Washington than previous ones.
Trump’s press secretary then later in the day delivered a statement in which he said the president had, “the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period.” Spicer added, “We’re going to hold the press accountable as well. The American people deserve better.”
The response from journalists on Twitter was swift. (RELATED: Spicer Eviscerates Media For Lying About Inauguration Crowd Size…)
“Meet The Press” host Chuck Todd wrote, “I’ve run out of adjectives.” New York magazine writer Jessie Singal said, “We are watching an authoritarian leader’s parallel-universe information dissemination infrastructure take place.”
“THAT WAS FUCKING INSANE. He just unleashes a tirade at the press, lies that it was the biggest inaugural ever, takes no questions. OMG.” Singal added. Daily Beast journalist Olivia Nuzzi said that Spicer “ominously promised” to hold the press accountable.
Dave Bernstein, a contributing editor at Boston Magazine, tweeted that Spicer’s statement was “insane” and added, “this is crazytown.” Teen Vogue writer Lauren Duca wrote, “In all seriousness, what Sean Spicer said today was an unmitigated act of propaganda.”
Rowaida Abdelaziz, a social media editor at The Huffington Post, said, “Sean Spicer says that the admin is ‘going to hold the press accountable.’ Not sure it works that way.”
Matt Viser, deputy washington bureau chief for The Boston Globe, tweeted, “The White House is trying to take us into post-factual America. The press, and the public, cannot let that happen.”