Reviews are in for former Press Secretary Sean Spicer's book — and they're not kind.
The Briefing seems to offer plenty of entertainment, even if not intentional. The book has enough errors that it's worth commenting, and the odd moments are downright weird. These are the 11 most bizarre or untrue moments from Sean Spicer's new book.
Perhaps the best, most succinct review of the book is a sentence from Jonathan Karl's article in
The Wall Street Journal. He sums up the main issue with the The Briefing: Mr. Spicer’s book is much like his tenure as press secretary: short, littered with inaccuracies and offering up one consistent theme: Mr. Trump can do no wrong.
And he points out many of the books errors. "Mr. Spicer has not been well served by the book’s fact checkers and copy editors," Karl writes, also noting that it's "light on insider detail of what was going on in the White House during his tumultuous time as press secretary."
Karl's review is far from an endorsement. Some others haven't even read it, but
their reviews mock his time as press secretary, like in Alexandra Petri's Washington Post review titled "Sean Spicer facts about Sean Spicer book." In it, she quips: "I have read it. I have read it more times than any book in history. Three million to 5 million fraudulent voters also read it."
If you decide to read it yourself, here are some of the oddities — and untruths — you'll find inside.
Spicer says that he's regularly asked if the president "permanently changed campaigning." The answer is "yes, but only up to a point" because Trump is so unique. And then came this description:
He is a unicorn, riding a unicorn over a rainbow. His verbal bluntness involves risks that few candidates would dare take. His ability to pivot from a seemingly career-ending moment to a furious assault on his opponents is a talent few politicians can muster. Drew Angerer/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Some of the book's inaccuracies could have been caught by a simple proofread.
Spicer mentions the "Steele" dossier, which he wrote was compiled by "a former British intelligence official, Michael Steele, for Fusion GPS—a private, opposition research outfit that was paid by a law firm employed by the Clinton campaign."
The only problem is that the ex-spy's name was Christopher. Michael Steele was the chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Dates Aren't Easy, Either
Spicer furthered the argument made by the president that he is treated differently by the media. He uses this anecdote:
Back in April 1999, Jeff Zeleny — then of the New York Times and now of CNN — asked President Barack Obama the following question during a presidential press conference: “During these first one hundred days, what has surprised you the most about this office? Enchanted you the most from serving in this office? Humbled you the most? And troubled you the most?”
Obama wasn't elected until 2008.
Maybe easier to picture than the unicorn, this is still an odd way to describe the now president of the country:
Throughout the primary and general debates, Donald Trump was like an inflatable ball in a swimming pool. Hillary Clinton and the media tried hard to keep him submerged, but he always popped back up to the surface. Nothing could sink him. And that fact caused quite a few media heads to explode.
Omitting Some Key Details
In going over how he made it to become press secretary, Spicer talked about some of his past gigs, including one for
Rep. Mark Foley of Florida. Spicer only has good things to say.
"He was hungry for good press, understood how to get it, and knew how to manage the news cycle. And on top of all that, he was good to staff and fun to be around," Spicer wrote in the book.
Here, he doesn't mention that the representative stepped down after it was revealed he
sent sexually explicit instant messages to underage congressional pages.
Selling The Crowd Size Argument
His takeaway on perhaps the
most famous moment of his tenure as press secretary was the moment when he addressed the size of Trump's inauguration crowd and the comparison with Obama's. Spicer now thinks he should have made a "polished, nuanced argument" as to why Trump's was not smaller — even though it was.
Why? That's what the president wanted.
“Every time the president had checked in with me, I had said like a good soldier, ‘We’re on it, Mr. President.’ Instead, I should have talked with him more and understood exactly what he wanted me to do," Spicer wrote.
Trump Is An Energizer Bunny
Mireya Acierto/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
The compliments for the president just keep on going and going and going, too:
On the morning of election day, I checked my phone and saw that Trump, at age seventy, was still an Energizer Bunny. He had campaigned into the late hours and was up again in the early morning.
Trump's Not The Problem — Twitter Is
"Twitter is not glue,” Spicer wrote. "It is a solvent. It is breaking us down and breaking us apart. (And yes, I see the irony of Donald Trump’s former press secretary making this observation.) With Twitter at the center, substantive issues that require more than 280 characters get short shrift."
He continues on attacking Twitter, arguing the platform lets people "say stuff we would never say to a person’s face (at least most of us would not)."
"We can’t settle for just keeping up with the lowest common dominator on Twitter," Spicer wrote. I think he meant "denominator."
Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images
The Mooch joining the White House team was a shock to everyone's system. It doesn't sound like Spicer was feeling it, either:
The next morning at 8:56, I was sitting in my office and heard the little buzz announcing a text message. It was from Scaramucci. “Hey give me a buzz,” it read. I stood there in the morning light and stared at the message. I didn’t make that call.
“In the minds of many in the press, the First Amendment is solely about them and their rights. In reality, it’s about all of us and our ability to express ourselves," Spicer wrote.
But the former press secretary's ability to express himself isn't limited. Spicer — and now Sarah Huckabee Sanders — can say just about anything, and the press will cover it.
This book shows that Spicer can also write just about anything, and someone will publish it.