When we last saw Sean Spicer, the former White House press secretary, he was stumbling out of the gate of a post-Trump career: He had been turned down for a Fox News commentator gig and was having trouble finding guests for a talk-show pilot named Common Ground. Adding to his woes: The buzz on the new Sean Spicer book is about as good as the one that followed his first press briefing.
Vanity Fair reports that The Briefing, out this week, is not the warts-and-all exposé the public might want to hear from the man who once hid from cameras in a White House hedge and was bullied by Trump about his tailoring. “The book is filled with wide-eyed wonderment at Trump’s communications strategy (‘The more time I spent with him, the more I came to understand that President Trump wanted me to repeat his answers to the press verbatim’), and anodyne anecdotes such as the time Spicer lent Trump a green tie for St. Patrick’s Day,” writes Tina Nguyen. “Another section describes the president as a man of ‘compassion and sympathy,’ with ‘Christian instincts and feeling,’ particularly after the death of Spicer’s father.”
What do other people think of the Sean Spicer book?
The reviews have been largely negative, calling Spicer on the carpet for his lack of credibility. “At times, it rings like an audition for a talk show,” says the Guardian of the book. “At others, it sounds like a family member seeking to whitewash an abusive relationship.” Concludes the Wall Street Journal: “Mr. Spicer’s book is much like his tenure as press secretary: short, littered with inaccuracies and offering up one consistent theme: Mr. Trump can do no wrong.” The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple calls the book “a bumbling effort at gaslighting Americans into doubting what they have seen with their own eyes as far back as June 2015.”
But it’s The Telegraph that may have stuck a fork in The Briefing, saying that it “reeks of desperation.” Writes Harriet Alexander: “At times hostile, at times hilarious, his briefings got higher ratings than the actual soap operas airing at the same time. So how has he managed to make his account of the time so dull?”