There are few jobs in the world more taxing than White House Press Secretary. While the President is the one making the tough calls, his press secretary is tasked with explaining it all to the world. The grueling nature of the job has resulted in high turnover, as presidents typically go through multiple press secretaries during their time in office.
Perhaps nobody knows this toll better than Sean Spicer. While all press secretaries have a taxing job, Spicer has faced a press that is downright hostile to the current president. The media has looked to hammer Trump at every turn, making what was already a tough job even tougher.
Not surprisingly, the hostility has resulted in a gaffe or two. However, Spicer has otherwise been pretty unflappable under the enormous pressure. The result has been must-see TV, and that’s good news for the White House.
From the Washington Examiner:
There’s a reason why TMZ’s Harvey Levin recently called White House spokesman Sean Spicer one of the “most visible” people in all of Washington.Because next to President Trump and his globe-trotting vice president, Mike Pence, Spicer’s afternoon briefings continue to be Must-See Cable TV for millions of political junkies and the midday click for hundreds of thousands on Yahoo.
A Nielsen survey for Secrets of two weeks of ratings from CNN, MSNBC and Fox News put Spicer’s average daily viewership at 3.64 million, higher on newsy days to 4.5 million viewers.And Yahoo told us that Spicer’s online audience sometimes averages 600,000 a day, and at least 3 million a week.
“We’d definitely consider these good, and certainly fair to say the briefings have found an audience on Yahoo,” said a spokeswoman.
Bringing in a large audience is good news for the Trump administration. In an age where the media is trying to define the narrative, Spicer’s large following has allowed Trump to get his message directly to the people:
Fellow Republican spox Ron Bonjean, who handled White House communications for the effort to get Neil Gorsuch confirmed to the Supreme Court, said having a big TV and internet audience helps Trump keep his message directly in front of Americans.
“The reason why the press secretary holds televised briefings is to communicate directly with the American people. This means that when millions of voters are watching Sean Spicer’s press briefing, it can only help him directly deliver what President Trump’s priorities are on a daily basis,” said Bonjean.
While many have hammered Spicer for the job he’s doing, press secretary has always been a thankless job. But thanks to Spicer, millions of people are hearing directly from the administration before the media spins the story. That’s a huge victory for the White House.
[Note: This post was written by Michael Lee. Follow him on Twitter @UAMichaelLee]