Former press secretary Sean Spicer is having a banner day: first, in the morning Harvard University named him one of their new visiting fellows, then, in the evening, he was on Jimmy Kimmel Live! defending so-called “alternative facts” and President Trump.
The interview is rich material for understanding why having Spicer on a comedic talk show—while in theory funny, since from day one in the White House he so obviously played the part of Trump’s eruptive, rapidly tanning pawn—is more disconcerting that humorous. Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer impression was brilliant because through his character she could say anything; the real deal, on the other hand, can still only parrot praise for this administration and caution us all to be more tolerant of it, specifically of the lies it tries passing off as anti-establishment heroics.
Case in point, when Kimmel brought up Spicer’s infamous first press conference, in which he obviously fibbed about Trump’s Inauguration crowd size at the president’s behest, the man admitted no wrongdoing and said, “I think in all seriousness that, whether you voted for him or not, the president won the election, he faced a lot of headwinds and I think there was a faction of people out there that didn’t want to give him the credit he deserved. I think a lot of times he takes that personally.”
Then, after Kimmel’s team ran footage of Spicer stating during a press conference, “I think sometimes we can disagree with the facts,” Spicer responded by doubling down on his previous assertion, saying, “I think you can look at a set of facts and come out with one opinion and someone else can say, ‘While the facts are the same here, I come out with a different conclusion.’”
Thanks, genius, have fun at Harvard.