Home Donald Trump Great Explanation of “Baghdad Sean” Spicer’s Bizarre, N. Korea-Style Statement Yesterday

Great Explanation of “Baghdad Sean” Spicer’s Bizarre, N. Korea-Style Statement Yesterday


Great explanation of “Baghdad Sean” Spicer’s bizarre, North Korea-style statement yesterday (bolding added by me for emphasis).

If you are puzzled by the bizarre “press conference” put on by the White House press secretary this evening (angrily claiming that Trump’s inauguration had the largest audience in history, accusing them of faking photos and lying about attendance), let me help explain it. This spectacle served three purposes:

1. Establishing a norm with the press: they will be told things that are obviously wrong and they will have no opportunity to ask questions. That way, they will be grateful if they get anything more at any press conference. This is the PR equivalent of “negging,” the odious pick-up practice of a particular kind of horrible man (e.g., Donald Trump).

2. Increasing the separation between Trump’s base (1/3 of the population) from everybody else (the remaining 2/3). By being told something that is obviously wrong—that there is no evidence for and all evidence against, that anybody with eyes can see is wrong—they are forced to pick whether they are going to believe Trump or their lying eyes. The gamble here—likely to pay off—is that they will believe Trump. This means that they will regard media outlets that report the truth as “fake news” (because otherwise they’d be forced to confront their cognitive dissonance.)

3. Creating a sense of uncertainty about whether facts are knowable, among a certain chunk of the population (which is a taking a page from the Kremlin, for whom this is their preferred disinformation tactic). A third of the population will say “clearly the White House is lying,” a third will say “if Trump says it, it must be true,” and the remaining third will say “gosh, I guess this is unknowable.” The idea isn’t to convince these people of untrue things, it’s to fatigue them, so that they will stay out of the political process entirely, regarding the truth as just too difficult to determine.

This is laying important groundwork for the months ahead. If Trump’s White House is willing to lie about something as obviously, unquestionably fake as this, just imagine what else they’ll lie about. In particular, things that the public cannot possibly verify the truth of. It’s gonna get real bad.

  • Quizzical

    My interpretation is that Trump made a terrible presentation at the CIA, rambling and un-Presidential, plus larded with numerous lies, e.g, that Trumps feud with the intelligence community was made up by the media, that the media are the most dishonest people, and that there were a million or a million and a half at his inauguration.

    Of all people to lie to, why lie to the CIA folks? Let’s just face it, it was crazy stupid. I mean, it is not as if the CIA is unable to interpret aerial photos. And now all the CIA people are sitting at home on Sunday morning wondering why the President would drive out to Langley to lie to their faces. Why? On the other hand he said he loved the CIA, so there’s that too. Mostly though, the trip to Langley was to distract attention from the Women’s Marches.

    Thus, Spicer was left in the extremely unpleasant situation of covering for his boss. Which he did the best he could. He had no choice, he couldn’t let things go off the rails on the first damn day.

    So the pattern I see is that Trump clowns around to distract from the protest marches and Spicer clowns to distract from Trump.

    • woodrowfan

      the people that were there on a Saturday to hear him were those who wanted to be there, so they were the ones that already supported him. It’d be different if it were a cross section of their employees, but this was a self-selected group

  • Don’t know who’s worse: Baghdad Sean or Propaganda Barbie



    Who knows, maybe Trump can make his con-man/ Kremlin techniques work — the fact that he became President shows that the system of checks and balances can be hacked. But, America is not Russia and, unlike his usual scams, this has to be pulled off in front of everybody with real world consequences. His hard core supporters could lose their Medicare and have their house reprocessed due to bankruptcy caused by medical bills, and stick with him. But most people, even those who don’t care about politics and might be fooled by his big lie techniques if they aren’t directly hurt will figure it out when his policies actually hurt them. If Trump’s low poll ratings and yesterday’s protests are any sign, the Trump WH is already under seige. We have to keep the pressure on with a clear message on how Trump and his party threaten the future of both America’s middle class and liberty. The swamp is bigger than ever and under the control of Russian oligarchs.

  • Video: Kellyanne Conway on Donald Trump’s “Alternate Facts”


  • wwfleming

    These are also tactics of destructive narcissistic sociopaths. All evidence to the contrary is wrong. Anybody who disagrees is part of the enemy. Threats using facts are responded to with vicious personal attacks. Never admit you are wrong and never apologize. We can at least be happy that two of his biggest enemies are the national security agencies and the press. “Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.” – Mark Twain

  • Quizzical

    In the past, once a White House press secretary loses his or her credibility with the White House press, he or she leaves. Right? How can Spicer properly serve the President after yesterday?

  • True Blue

    Joy Reid mades media great everyday! Her interview with Masha Gessen on “Autocracy: Rules for Survival” this morning was enlightening. The “lies about the small things” like weather on Inauguration Day, Nielsen ratings, crowd sizes, respect for intelligence community, etc. are all part of an autocrat’s “use of language to assert power.”


  • Dan Rather:

    These are not normal times. These are extraordinary times. And extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.

    When you have a spokesperson for the president of the United States wrap up a lie in the Orwellian phrase “alternative facts”…

    When you have a press secretary in his first appearance before the White House reporters threaten, bully, lie, and then walk out of the briefing room without the cajones to answer a single question…

    When you have a President stand before the stars of the fallen CIA agents and boast about the size of his crowds (lies) and how great his authoritarian inaugural speech was….

    These are not normal times.

    The press has never seen anything like this before. The public has never seen anything like this before. And the political leaders of both parties have never seen anything like this before.

    What can we do? We can all step up and say simply and without equivocation. “A lie, is a lie, is a lie!” And if someone won’t say it, those of us who know that there is such a thing as the truth must do whatever is in our power to diminish the liar’s malignant reach into our society.

    There is one group of people who can do a lot – very quickly. And that is Republicans in Congress. Without their support, Donald Trump’s presidency will falter. So here is what I think everyone in the press must do. If you are interviewing a Paul Ryan, a Mitch McConnell, or any other GOP elected official, the first question must be “what will you do to combat the lying from the White House?” If they dodge and weave, keep with the follow ups. And if they refuse to give a satisfactory answer, end the interview.

    Facts and the truth are not partisan. They are the bedrock of our democracy. And you are either with them, with us, with our Constitution, our history, and the future of our nation, or you are against it. Everyone must answer that question.