Considering both Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus are now gone, who are the unlucky toadies who will be given this ridiculous task?
According to Vice News, as given to them by White House officials, Spicer and Priebus had a very special chore, that began at the beginning of Trump’s presidency. At 9:30am and 4:30pm each day, they had to personally hand a specially prepared folder of positive coverage to President Trump, to offset the mountain of bad news and stroke his ego thoroughly.
These sensitive papers, described to VICE News by three current and former White House officials, don’t contain top-secret intelligence or updates on legislative initiatives. Instead, the folders are filled with screenshots of positive cable news chyrons (those lower-third headlines and crawls), admiring tweets, transcripts of fawning TV interviews, praise-filled news stories, and sometimes just pictures of Trump on TV looking powerful.
One White House official said the only feedback the White House communications shop, which prepares the folder, has ever gotten in all these months is: “It needs to be more f**king positive.” That’s why some in the White House ruefully refer to the packet as “the propaganda document.”
The Vice piece goes on to describe the typical day, which begins in the “war room” of the Republican National Committee.
With a staff of 4 to 10 people, and beginning at 6am each morning, local and national news is monitored, newspapers are scoured, front to back, social media is watched, and every 30 minutes, White House staffers send the White House Communications Office all the news and tidbits they’ve gathered.
Staffers also act as the screeners, assuring that only the positive bits are included for the president’s folder.
Another current White House official said that the idea for the twice-daily ego boost came from Priebus and Spicer, who competed to deliver the folder and be the bearer of the good news. “Priebus and Spicer weren’t in a good position, and they wanted to show they could provide positive coverage,” the official said. “It was self-preservation.”
And it didn’t work for either of them, although Spicer has the benefit of saying he resigned on his own.
The term “narcissist” seems to turn up often, when referring to Donald Trump. I think that’s clear to most who are paying attention.
If you have any doubt that Trump would require his ego to be stroked twice a day, as he huddles in his safe space, with all negative coverage filtered out, just think back to that roundtable video.
And at a broadcasted Cabinet meeting in June, Trump listened contentedly as the vice president, his chief of staff, and nearly all of the 15 Cabinet secretaries heaped praise on him. Priebus took that opportunity to tell Trump: “On behalf of the entire senior staff around you, Mr. President, we thank you for the opportunity and the blessing that you’ve given us to serve your agenda and the American people.”
Possibly one of the creepiest things ever recorded.
It all reminds me of a “South Park” episode, where the character, Butters, is assigned by the new, social justice warrior principal, PC Principle, to serve as the filter for Cartman, Demi Lovato, and Steven Seagal, weeding out all the negative comments on social media, then giving them transcripts of all the good.
It was funny on “South Park.”
It’s just creepy and disconcerting coming from the Oval Office.