Sean Spicer Calls Out ‘Snarkiness’ of Wannabe ‘YouTube Stars’ in the ‘Mainstream Media’

On Wednesday morning, White House press secretary Sean Spicer gave an interview to rumored replacement and conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham and lambasted the opposition party that he faces at the Briefing Room podium as wannabe “YouTube stars” thirsting for “getting their clip on air” tussling with Spicer.

Spicer first discussed the blowback he received for Monday’s no audio, no video briefing that caused CNN’s Jim Acosta to blow a gasket (but let’s be honest, he frequently does this at briefings or Trump press conference).

“We made that clear, from the beginning, that in a variety of ways we’re going to look to do things differently, to do things better and this is one area that we've done that. And we talked about it literally from the beginning,” Spicer explained.

With changes like the Skype seats for local news outlets outside the Beltway and calling on organizations in the back rows more often, Spicer trumpeted the fact that he’s given “more access to folks who haven’t had it” even though it’s drawn the ire of the liberal media:

The mainstream media, who has had a stranglehold on deciding what information the American people got to see, in some ways, are upset that more people, more voices are getting an opportunity to get involved in having their questions answered, to participate in our democracy.

<<< Please support MRC's NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>

Hinting at folks like Acosta and his comrades in the first few rows, Spicer blasted their “sniping” at him not because they want important questions answered but they “want to become YouTube stars and ask some snarky question that's been asked eight times.”

Spicer later circled back to Monday’s controversy, telling Ingraham that “we had several outlets violate the press guidance a couple times” in carrying audio live when they were asked to run portions of it later after it concluded.

He added that he’s come to appreciate off-camera briefings because “it is not ‘performance art” as Ingraham dubbed it and thus “a more substantive discussion about actual issues because they're not trying to get their clip.”

Instead of trying to understand the issues and ask thorough questions, Spicer noted that on-camera briefings devolve into shenanigans:

‘How do I get on TV? How do I make — ask some snarky question?’ You can actually focus on the substance of the issues....So days in which the President was speaking, we would generally do an off-camera gaggle. It's a tradition that has been held for a while....[O]ne of the folks will gaggle on the plane, which is they go back, they talk to the pool on the plane, give them an update. That’s a tradition that’s gone back forever. 

“We continue to follow that and so there is a bit of snarkiness now with the press because, again, I think a lot of them are more focused about getting their clip on air there than they are of actually taking the time to understand an issue,” he concluded before Ingraham shifted to other topics.

Here’s the relevant portions of the transcript from June 21's The Laura Ingraham Show:

The Laura Ingraham Show
June 21, 2017

SEAN SPICER: We made that clear, from the beginning, that in a variety of ways we’re going to look to do things differently, to do things better and this is one area that we've done that. And we talked about it literally from the beginning. I was interviewed multiple times in December and January after I got this job and I talked about how we would be bringing change there, we would be interacting with the press despite some of the bias that a press — a free press is part of a democracy — but that we would be doing it in some of ways that were different and better. We've allowed more access to a lot of folks who haven't had it and the bottom line is that I think the mainstream media, who has had a stranglehold on deciding what information the American people got to see, in some ways, are upset that more people, more voices are getting an opportunity to get involved in having their questions answered, to participate in our democracy. But the fact is that they’ve had – we are here, as a I mentioned yesterday, at the briefing, I just get in, usually around 6:00 a.m., we leave fairly late at night and so we have a press staff that is totally accessible during those hours and on the weekends to the press. I think there’s a big difference when you see a lot of the sniping. There’s a lot of them that want to become YouTube stars and ask some snarky question that's been asked eight times and that's right, that's their right to do that. But our job is to make sure that we're providing updates and readouts of what the president is doing and the advances he is making on his agenda.

(....)

SPICER: The issue was is that I think that we had a lot — not a lot — we had several outlets violate the press guidance a couple times when we said ‘hey, look — you know —’ because the nice thing about turning the cameras off sometimes, and I find this, is that when you — when it is not 'performance art,' as you call it, that you end up having a more — I think — sometimes, a more substantive discussion about actual issues because they're not trying to get their clip. They're not trying to figure out, 'How do I get on TV? How do I make — ask some snarky question?' You can actually focus on the substance of the issues. What we found was, is that outlets were violating what we had said at the beginning — which is, you can use the audio, just not right away — and sort of broadcasting the briefing at the same time, just putting the picture up and running that over, which was not the intent and so days in which the President was speaking, we would generally do an off-camera gaggle. It's a tradition that has been held for a while. Again, today, the President is traveling to Oh — Iowa to talk about agriculture, talk about trade and the — one of the folks will gaggle on the plane, which is they go back, they talk to the pool on the plane, give them an update. That’s a tradition that’s gone back forever. We continue to follow that and so there is a bit of snarkiness now with the press because, again, I think a lot of them are more focused about getting their clip on air there than they are of actually taking the time to understand an issue.

NB Daily Media Bias Debate Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Web 2.0 Wire Services/Media Companies ABC CBS NBC CNN White House Press Briefing Sean Spicer
Curtis Houck's picture


Sponsored Links