TOWOIT #353: “In times like this — not that there are that many times like this — “

August 22, 2018.

Today’s briefing was the first in a week. It only started 13 minutes late. Sarah Sanders looked tired and had very puffy ruffled sleeves on.

I’m never sure who self-selects to watch the briefing on the official White House live-streaming channel like I do. Is it mostly people who like and trust the White House? That would explain why the thumb’s up to thumb’s down ratio is always about 10 to 1. I watched the viewer count thinking SURELY it would be higher than usual.


The red line was today’s briefing and the blue line was that briefing on July 18 right after Trump came back from Russia and everyone was freaking out about his equivocating and submissiveness to Putin. (X-axis is minutes, Y-axis is number of viewers. The red line starts 30 minutes before the scheduled start time).

The briefing started with Sarah Sanders using Mollie Tibbet’s death — a very sad typical random snuffed-by-man college girl sort of death — using her death to bludgeon undocumented immigrants with. It was a classic white supremacy move and when she was done it just hung in the air in a gross way for a few seconds.

It didn’t erase it, but it was just the smallest bit of salve to have the first question go to Cecilia Vega in the front row who launched into a Michael Cohen question in a very businesslike manner.

Continue reading TOWOIT #353: “In times like this — not that there are that many times like this — “

TOWOIT #352: Thirteen percent of the country is African American

August 15, 2018. The next day. We were wealthy in White House Press Briefings last week. This is the day that Sanders read a written statement from Trump that impugned former CIA director John Brennan’s character and revoked his security clearance. No president has ever done that before. Sanders also listed off others whose security clearances were being reviewed.

This was also the exciting time when Sarah Sanders worked really hard to not admit that there are no senior black employees in the White House.

Questions reporters asked Sarah Sanders:

Continue reading TOWOIT #352: Thirteen percent of the country is African American

TOWOIT #351: tear this entire place down

Today is August 21, 2018. It’s the day that Manafort was convicted on 8 counts and Cohen turned himself into the FBI. But this is about last week, Tuesday, August 14, and the first of two press briefings at the White House.

The first part of this briefing was about remains from Korea, and I’m just going to leave that part off and start when it got back to Sarah Sanders.

Questions the reporters asked her:

Continue reading TOWOIT #351: tear this entire place down

TOWOIT #350: the people of the enemies

WHDB on August 2, 2018.

This briefing was longer than usual at 45 minutes. Sarah Sanders had five departments in to talk about election security. It’s a briefing that might have been more reassuring in another context. It should have happened in February 2017 and been headed by the President. The President was not there and contradicted the main points of the briefing that evening at one of his eerie self-rallies. He said again it’s all a hoax, all a witch hunt.

This briefing was also notable because at the end, after her special guests left, Sarah Sanders refused to say that the media is not the enemy of the people. She was given three chances to say something, anything—and she wouldn’t. Again, people on Twitter said all the reporters should stop going to the briefings. But like Brian Karem tweeted, the children don’t get to chase the adults away. And like someone else tweeted, there will still be propaganda news outlets there no matter what. So the reporters show up. They tether their questions to reality. They read their reality-tethered questions into the record.

Here are the questions asked by reporters at the August 2 briefing:

Continue reading TOWOIT #350: the people of the enemies

TOWOIT #349: “How is the president going to force the creation of a space force?”

WHDB on August 1, 2018

Now that July is over:

Screen Shot 2018-08-04 at 7.42.07 PM

OK, this briefing was mostly nothing about that space force title, but I just enjoyed that question for absurdity reasons.

Nearly everyone called on in that room is named either John, Steven, or David by the way.

Also, this is not the briefing that happened the next night (I’m behind), where Sarah Sanders wouldn’t say that the press is NOT the enemy of the people and Acosta walked out. But this briefing really laid the groundwork for the next night. There was plenty of disrespect, animosity and bullshittery on display from the podium.

Here are the questions from reporters:

Continue reading TOWOIT #349: “How is the president going to force the creation of a space force?”