President Donald Trump’s press secretary said Monday night that he does not agree with White House chief strategist Steve Bannon that the media is “the opposition party” and should “keep its mouth shut.”
Days after Bannon unloaded his scathing assessment of the media in a rare interview with the New York Times, Spicer tried to walk the tightrope of staying in line with the administration he represents, while not completely alienating the press corps he has to face off with every day. Spicer chose to strike a far more conciliatory tone about the administration’s view of the media, telling an audience of college students: “The press plays a very healthy role in democracy, no question about it.”
But he added, "They're not the only game in town anymore."
Spicer was speaking at George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs, where he was interviewed on stage by former CNN Washington bureau chief Frank Sesno, who pressed him on whether he agreed with Bannon's dark view of the press.
“No,” Spicer said when asked if he agreed. “I’m not disagreeing that he’s got a point. That’s his view.”
Spicer tried to explain that Bannon’s cynical view of the media — in the interview he said “the media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while” — was born out of frustration about negative coverage.
“Steve has worked really hard with the President, during the campaign and the transition, to implement some really great ideas and policies that are helping Americans,” Spicer said. “A lot of times, when you pick up the paper or stare up at the TV, and you see the headlines and the chyrons, and you realize they’re not even being straight, it’s unbelievably disappointing.”Read More...
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