Sarah Huckabee Sanders is leaving her job as White House press secretary, and she will be badly missed.
Her dad, former Gov. Mike Huckabee, calls her unflappable, but that’s not quite right. You could always tell when she was hurt by the crude, rude terroristic assaults of the White House press corps. In fact her emotions were frequently on full display on her unhappy face, but what made her remarkable was that she never gave in, never surrendered, never budged when confronted by the pack of hyenas led by CNN’s Jim Acosta.
People are asking who could replace Sanders, but that is the wrong question. No one can replace her. The right question is how quickly will her successor surrender to the unruly media mob and restore daily press briefings.
Sanders hasn’t held a press briefing since March 11, and the world has continued to turn just fine, thank you very much. Of course, publicity hounds like Acosta have howled about the injustice of being denied daily briefings, but that is just the usual self-serving blather from the usual self-appointed heroes of journalism.
In fact, the daily press briefing is one of the worst ideas in history. To expect one person at a podium to be able to speak authoritatively not just for the president but for an executive branch encompassing hundreds of thousands of people is not only unfair, it is stupid. The answer to every question asked at the press briefing should be the same: “I’ll get back to you on that.”
If D.C. journalists were serious about their job, they wouldn’t ask questions during the press briefing anyway. What reporter wants to ask a serious question and then share the answer with all of his or her competitors? The only excuse I can think of for that behavior is because the reporters are performing for each other — seeking the approval of other reporters for their “hard hitting question.”
When I started at the Daily Inter Lake back in 1984, the Flathead County sheriff held a daily press briefing, too. About five or six reporters from local media would attend for updates on mayhem from the previous night, and then ask questions later. But the reporters from the Inter Lake would often keep quiet or ask general questions because they didn’t want to share their scoops with the assembled radio and TV reporters. Then when the press briefing ended, our reporter would corral the sheriff or undersheriff and hit him with the real question. Then when we had a front page story that afternoon, the other media were left scrambling.
That’s the way real journalists do their job, but the collection of haircuts in fancy suits and skirts at the White House briefing room are more interested in getting their own airtime than getting to the bottom of a real story.
Frank Miele writes from Kalispell, Montana, at www.HeartlandDiaryUSA.com and is a columnist at Real Clear Politics. My new book is “The Media Matrix: What If Everything You Know Is Fake.” To support my work, please consider buying “The Media Matrix” or my “Why We Needed Trump” trilogy, which documents the downward spiral of the USA before Trump arrived on the scene. The books are available at Amazon in paperback or Kindle editions. Go here for a free sample: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/sitb/B07PDQBJM4