White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, perhaps worn out from all those press conferences she didn’t hold or maybe the lying, is leaving. Who will miss her?
Her broader legacy, though, is an acquiescence to the idea that facts themselves have a political bias. … So many of the public interactions Sanders has conducted with reporters—whether Acosta or April Ryan or Jim Sciutto or Brian Karem or the many other members of the press who are charged with reporting on the daily doings of the White House—have been wars in miniature. And, day by day, the martial logic lurking in the way Americans talk about their politics—the campaign and the press corps, the war room—has been made ever more literal.
In her farewell, Sanders said, “This has been the honor of a lifetime, the opportunity of a lifetime. I couldn’t be prouder to have the opportunity to serve my country, in particular this president. … I’ve loved every minute, even the hard minutes.”She also noted that she’d have more time with her kids. “In the meantime, I’m going to continue to be one of the most outspoken and loyal supporters of the president and his agenda.”
Of course she is. Once you start covering for the president’s mendacity and perfidy, it’s impossible to stop — at least without admitting the entire fraud.
With all the resources of the federal government’s communications machine at her fingertips, Sanders was the least resourceful communicator in Washington: a hapless and hopeless observer to every crisis, real or manufactured by the man sitting in the Oval Office, just down the hallway from her own.
In other words, she was the perfect spokeswoman for a perfectly lazy president.
So does the death of the press briefing matter, given the Trump White House’s tendency to lie? Yes. …
Last month, reporters noticed that there was literally a coating of dust on the press briefing room podium. That is Sanders’ legacy.
And finally, a burn from James Poniewozik:
I'm not going to believe that Sarah Huckabee Sanders is leaving as White House press secretary until she denies it herself.
— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) June 13, 2019
Washingtonian looks forward to Playbook accounts of the journalists who attend her going-away events.