"Please stop shaking your head": Spicer clashes with reporter over Trump's image problems

You know it’s a slow news day when this peevish but otherwise uninteresting exchange is a story at outlet after outlet after outlet.

A pointless question to Spicer from reporter April Ryan: What are you going to do to revamp Trump’s image with so many controversies and potential scandals swirling around him? That’s pointless because it’s a question that can only be answered with spin; no PR flack will concede that his client has an image problem absent proof of undeniable wrongdoing, and Russiagate is still a ways away from undeniability. So Spicer predictably rejects her premise, insisting that any problem Trump has is due to the media wildly exaggerating the accusations against him, which is true in some cases (Russiagate) and less true in those where Trump has made trouble for himself needlessly (the half-assed wiretapping accusation against Obama, the half-assed GOP health-care bill). Most of the media’s irritation at Spicer here, though, comes when he asks Ryan to stop shaking her head at his responses, allegedly a snotty faux pas on his part — how dare he tell a grown woman how to behave! — but also something for which she’s being given some sort of truth-to-power pass by her colleagues. They wouldn’t have liked it if Fox News’s correspondent had emoted for the camera to register his disagreement during one of Josh Earnest’s filibusters, but since it’s now the Trump era, maybe soon we’ll progress to having the press corps give Spicer “down twinkles” or holding up the occasional “NOPE” sign when he delivers an answer they really don’t like.

But oh well. Ryan’s now a minor media martyr. And Spicer should grow a thicker skin towards the press’s petty rudeness. Although, Trump being Trump, this exchange alone probably earned him another year of job security.

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