While many political pundits and Americans alike have already viewed the current White House as a giant joke, comments made this morning by White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon pretty much confirms it.
Yesterday, in what may have been the most bizarre and troubling press briefing in American history, the White House decided to take a play right out of the book of authoritative leaders of the past. No audio or video recordings were permitted at the press briefing yesterday, meaning that reporters could only write about what they heard. This meant that it would be their word against the White House’s without any evidence to back up what was actually stated by Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
CNN’s Jim Acosta lashed out at the White House yesterday, saying, “When Sean Spicer comes in, and just says, you can’t record the video or audio from these briefings, that wouldn’t be tolerated at city council meetings… My guess is, they [the Trump administration] want their evasive answers not saved for posterity.”
Shortly after the briefing, The Atlantic reached out to both Sean Spicer and Sarah Sanders. When neither of them replied, they reached out to Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, who sent a simple, yet disturbing text message back to explain the recent changes in format to the briefings.
“Sean got fatter,” he responded. The Atlantic reached out for further details and Bannon simply ignored them.
While Bannon likely saw such a reply as a joke, it’s a sign of the times we are living in when the White House offers a fat-shaming joke in response to why they have put a limit on the free press.
Chelsea Clinton even fought back, tweeting, “Oh ok. So using fat shaming to avoid answering questions about increasing opacity. Got it. 2017.”
Clearly reporters and the media in general are not happy about these changes, and as Americans, you should be quite worried as well. A more opaque government is a less democratic one.