Target: White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer
Goal: Issue an official apology to reporter April Ryan after telling her to “stop shaking [her] head” at a press briefing.
In a daily briefing, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer lashed out at a reporter who was asking questions about the alleged ties between the Trump administration and Russia. When reporter April Ryan suggested that the White House had a problem to deal with in terms of Russia, Spicer replied, “No, we don’t have that. No, no. I get it. But I’ve said it from the day that I got here until whenever that there’s not a connection. You’ve got Russia.”
After some extended back-and-forth with Ryan, Spicer noticed the reporter shaking her head and told her to stop doing so. This incident is the latest in a string of many difficult moments that Spicer has had in the briefing room, dating back to his first official press conference, during which he lied to the media about the attendance at Donald Trump’s inauguration.
The condescension with which Spicer spoke to Ryan, and the fact that he felt it his place to take issue with how she was expressing herself physically, has no place in the White House press briefing room. The relationship between journalists and the Trump administration is already under significant strain, and Ryan deserves an apology after this unprofessional incident.
Dear Mr. Spicer,
Reporter April Ryan recently asked you a series of questions about the alleged ties between the Trump administration and Russia, which you handled with evident annoyance, frustration, and condescension. Despite the existence of a federal investigation into possible Russian interference with the presidential election, you were reluctant to discuss this subject in a room full of reporters to whom it is your duty to communicate essential information.
Furthermore, you told Ms. Ryan to “stop shaking your head” when you noticed that she was doing so, even after she had finished asking her question. To comment on the physical behavior of a reporter in your briefing room is unprofessional, and it is unacceptable to demand that one of those reporters adjust their physical behavior in order to placate you.
I ask that you issue a formal apology to Ms. Ryan for your condescending comments, both while she was asking her questions and after she had finished and you attempted to dictate her physical behavior. Your role as the press secretary is to deliver information from the White House to the American public, and the reporters responsible for disseminating that information deserve your respect, even if they ask questions you find difficult to answer.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: VOA