Editorial

Spicer seeks redemption for lying to the public

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

In a comedy skit at the televised Sept. 17 Emmy Awards, former White House press secretary Sean Spicer amused the crowd by mimicking Melissa McCarthy’s repeated Saturday Night Live portrayals of him.

The real Spicer came out on a motorized podium and declared that, “This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period — both in person and around the world.”

This skit satirized Spicer’s easily disproven assertion during his first conference as press secretary that, "This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period.”

The initial response from most of those present at the Emmys was laughter but, starting almost immediately after the broadcast, pundits pushed back against Spicer’s insincere self-deprecation.

One of the most articulate criticisms came from nationally syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts Jr.

Referring to Spicer’s first press conference, Pitts said, “This incident was an early indication that this White House would not be bound by fact. That would be driven home by a subsequent blizzard of presidential lies and by enablers like Spicer, who would then go out and insist, with a straight face, that the president’s hogwash was true.”

Pitts continued, “Now here was Spicer, effectively declaring himself in on the joke.”

Pitts further stated, “He walks out onstage, does this comedic bit, and we’re supposed to treat it all as some harmless, meta joke? That feels cynical and slimy. It feels bereft of principle.”

In the days following that appearance at the Emmy Awards, Spicer has made public appearances in an apparent attempt to reform his image and cash in on his ill-gotten fame.

He acknowledges that he has made mistakes but insists that he never knowingly lied to the public. If Spicer sincerely wants to earn forgiveness, he needs to acknowledge all of his lies and apologize unequivocally.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean that he deserves to ever again be placed in a position that involves the public’s trust.

Whether or not Spicer seeks forgiveness, he should withdraw from the national forum.