Like the Washington swamp it pulls staff from, the Trump administration operates from murky waters.
In an effort to make things even murkier, White House press secretary Sean Spicer has been prohibiting cameras from many press briefings over the past few weeks, a disturbing rule that he put into effect yet again Friday afternoon. However, he did make time to appear on the Fox News show "America's Newsroom" that morning, settling any lingering doubts over which news station is the White House pet.
Within the safe space of conservative mainstream media, Spicer slammed former President Barack Obama's recent critique of the American Health Care Act and called Obamacare "dead."
"The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill. It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else," Obama wrote in a Facebook post. "Those with private insurance will experience higher premiums and higher deductibles, with lower tax credits to help working families cover the costs, even as their plans might no longer cover pregnancy, mental health care, or expensive prescriptions. Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions could become the norm again. Millions of families will lose coverage entirely. Simply put, if there’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family – this bill will do you harm. And small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation."
“I don’t know how it’s mean to provide people health care, and that’s what we’re doing here,” Spicer told Fox News. “The real meanness is allowing the American people to believe that Obamacare is still alive.”
He went on to say that Obamacare was no longer an option for the American people and that Republicans were "coming to the rescue." Being that it was Fox News, there wasn't anyone there to poke holes in his arguments and actually break down the AHCA piece by nasty piece.
Without cameras documenting questions, responses, and potentially opposition to Spicer's words in real time, the White House press secretary is able to exert greater control over how he presents himself, the president, and Republicans to the nation and the world. It's creating propaganda, pure and simple, and if that's the case, Fox News is dangerously close to becoming state television.
If you haven't been paying attention yet, start paying attention now: American democracy is in serious trouble.