Last night, we reported that Sean Spicer is potentially being “promoted” to a position that’ll keep him away from the cameras. This is probably a good thing for Spicer, as he seems to recently have realized that being filmed while defending Donald Trump’s actions in an official setting requires a sort of cognitive elasticity achievable only by being a senile, mentally unhinged old man, which is to say, our president. A series of inside articles have also accompanied this news—from Bloomberg, Politico, and The Atlantic, the last of which was able to get sentient pustule Steve Bannon’s take on the matter.
In describing the fact that Michael Dubke’s recent departure has created an opening for Spicer to ostensibly step into the role of communications director, Atlantic writer Rosie Gray reports:
Neither Spicer nor deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders responded to queries about the changes to the briefings. Asked why the briefings are now routinely held off-camera, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon said in a text message “Sean got fatter,” and did not respond to a follow-up.
The irony of a man who looks like something dredged up from the deep ocean criticizing Spicer is obviously rich, and proof that, even if his hold over the president continues to wax and wane depending on the day, Bannon is still essentially a 4chan post sprung to ruddy, seething life.
The rest of the Atlantic article details how, whatever the reasoning, Spicer’s gradual disappearance is perfectly in line with the Trump administration’s attitude toward the press. Trump himself hasn’t held a proper press conference since February—that one was a doozy—and his administration has steadily downgraded the conferences’ importance, including restricting audio, holding them off-camera, and calling them “gaggles” rather than proper conferences. Even their press releases have changed from bearing the instruction “for immediate release” to “for planning purposes only,” and now they append that with “not reportable,” essentially making the releases useless. All of which creates an image of Trump, steadily insulating himself from criticism, surrounded only by slathering yes-men and Steve Bannon, who looks like a ruptured calzone.