The announcement Wednesday morning on “Good Morning America” by ABC that former White House press secretary Sean Spicer will compete in the network’s popular “Dancing With The Stars” reality show was met with mockery and disgust from progressives over popular culture’s latest laundering of a right-wing political figure.
Spicer’s role in delivering President Donald Trump’s message to the American people—replete with lies and misstatements—during Spicer’s six months in office between January 20, 2017 and July 21, 2017 make putting the former White House aide in the show an insult to the public, critics argued.
“Hard pass with extra no way on the side,” journalist Tabetha Wallace said on Twitter.
Hard pass with extra no way on the side. https://t.co/a26ySSPNov
— Tabetha Wallace (@TabethaWatching) August 21, 2019
“Love to normalize the spokespeople of fascism,” said Boston-based activist Jonathan Cohn.
Among Spicer’s many gaffes while sparring with the press corps in 2017 were statements inflating the crowd size at Trump’s inauguration, casting doubt on the popular vote total in 2016, and claiming that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler never used chemical weapons.
“Sean Spicer told the American people hundreds of lies, including several that cast doubt on the legitimacy of the 2016 vote count,” tweeted HuffPost editor George Zornick. “He also did that weird Hitler apologia. ABC should be ashamed.”
Misleading the public continued after Spicer left office, said CSPAN social media specialist Jeremy Art. Art pointed to a July 24, 2018 appearance CSPAN‘s “Book TV” in which Spicer claimed he would not appear on, specifically, “Dancing With The Stars.”
“It’s no,” said Spicer. “Zero on the rhythm. I wouldn’t do that to viewers.”
July 24, 2018 — @KatiePavlich: "Everybody wants to know if you are going to be on Dancing with the Stars. This is a yes or no question…"@SeanSpicer: "It's no. Zero on the rhythm. I wouldn't do that to viewers."#DWTS#DancingOnGMA pic.twitter.com/i9FgcN5lt0
— Jeremy Art (@cspanJeremy) August 21, 2019
The appearance was another indication to observers that any hope of consequences for Trump or his people after they leave the White House is likely just a dream.
In 2018, Spicer acted as a guest host at the Emmys for a brief gag. That appearance also generated outrage from progressives, particularly around a picture of host James Corden kissing Spicer on the cheek.
And the left has watched in recent years as members of the once-disgraced George W. Bush administration—including the former president—have found warm welcomes across the media.
Thus, New York Times opinion writer Wajahat Ali said in a tweet, it’s safe to say that Spicer’s new gig is “an example of what will happen to every Trump enabler.”
“They will all fail up,” said Ali. “Every single one. It’s shameful and people will hate reading that but that’s how D.C. works. It’s a revolving door. You’ll see a rehabilitation tour of every one within two years.”
Buzzfeed editor David Mack tweeted his anger over Spicer’s reward.
“The punishment for over a year of lying to reporters and the American public is one of the country’s top networks and morning shows doing whatever the f*#k this is,” said Mack.
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