CNN, MSNBC Hype Likelihood ‘Subdued’ Spicer Briefing Signals McCarthy Has Affected His Psyche

CNN and MSNBC each did their parts on Tuesday afternoon to advance the narrative that Saturday Night Live has claimed White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s scalp as their own, hyping that Tuesday’s press briefing showed how Melissa McCarthy’s impersonation has harmed his psyche.

CNN’s chief political analyst Gloria Borger admitted minutes after the briefing that “it was a little more subdued” and “[h]e seemed a little bit — very clear that the McCarthy improvisation on Saturday Night Live really affected Sean and I think he was trying to kind tone it down today to a great deal.”

Senior political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson agreed, adding that “[i]t’s the post-Melissa McCarthy affect, I think.” Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter ruled: “I didn’t notice any big surprises from this briefing, though. As your panelists were saying, Sean Spicer, trying to be rather subdued in the wake of SNL.”

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Over on MSNBC Live, political analyst and former Democratic Vermont Governor Howard Dean told host Katy Tur:

I think the most interesting thing today was that Spicer didn't make news himself and that's the first time he has done that. I don't think Melissa McCarthy is going to have as much material as she had last week if he keeps this up, but it was mostly political blather as you would expect. 

Tur giggled before responding: “Well, he didn't mention Melissa McCarthy, for one thing, so, there’s that.”

Here’s an intriguing exit question: Do you think that the media ever wondered if Hillary Clinton seemed more energetic or authentic the days after any of the stinging SNL parodies of Clinton by Kate McKinnon? 

Here are the relevant portions of the transcript from February 7's CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin:

CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin
February 7, 2017
2:20 p.m. Eastern

GLORIA BORGER: But I — overall, I don’t know if you guys agree with me. I — it was a little more subdued. 

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON: It’s the post-Melissa McCarthy affect, I think. Right?

BORGER: It was. 

HENDERSON: Yeah.

BORGER: Exactly. It really was. He seemed a little bit — very clear that the McCarthy improvisation on Saturday Night Live really affected Sean and I think he was trying to kind tone it down today to a great deal.

HENDERSON: Yeah. 

(....)

BRIAN STELTER: I didn’t notice any big surprises from this briefing, though. As your panelists were saying, Sean Spicer trying to be rather subdued in the wake of SNL

Here’s the relevant portions of the transcript from February 7's MSNBC Live with Katy Tur:

MSNBC Live with Katy Tur
February 7, 2017
2:25 p.m. Eastern

HOWARD DEAN: I think the most interesting thing today was that Spicer didn't make news himself and that's the first time he has done that. I don't think Melissa McCarthy is going to have as much material as she had last week if he keeps this up, but it was mostly political blather as you would expect. 

KATY TUR: Well, he didn't mention Melissa McCarthy, for one thing, so, there’s that. 

NB Daily Double Standards Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats CNN CNN Newsroom MSNBC MSNBC Live Video Brian Stelter Gloria Borger Nia-Malika Henderson Katy Tur Sean Spicer Howard Dean
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