13 April 2017 - Sean Spicer's Holocaust Comments
Amy Davidson (The New Yorker, 12/04/2017)
Let’s start with yesterday—the Holocaust situation,” Greta Van Susteren said to Sean Spicer, the White House spokesman, who always seems to be in one situation or another, on Wednesday, at a forum at Washington’s Newseum. There was, from the audience, a faint sound of stilted laughter, of the sort conveying not pleasure but a sense of the absurd. Spicer had already apologized, on CNN, for comments he made the day before, favorably comparing Adolf Hitler to Bashar al-Assad, through the nexus of chemical weapons, and so the main interest was in seeing how abjectly he would do so this time—and what else he might get wrong.
First, the apology: “I made a mistake. There’s no other way to say it. I got into a topic I shouldn’t have, and I screwed up.” Spicer reminded the audience that he had “sought people’s forgiveness,” that it was extra painful “to know when you screwed up that you possibly offended a lot of people,” and that he was extra, extra sorry that it had happened this week “of all weeks.” He seemed to be referring to the week of both Passover and Easter (“It is a very solemn time for so many folks”), but, really, every week of the Trump Administration has been something to behold. As Spicer saw it, though, it had been an “unbelievable, successful couple of weeks” for President Donald Trump, until he, Spicer, interrupted that parade of triumphs with his personal squall.
Comparing Hitler to Bashar al-Assad
Michael M. Grynbaum (The New York Times, 12/04/2017)
On Wednesday, the public representatives of two embattled American institutions — United Airlines and the White House — found themselves on national television grappling with a delicate and increasingly common ritual of the corporate and political worlds: the public apology.
Oscar Munoz, United’s chief executive, recalled his “shame” upon seeing a cellphone video, shared by millions of people, of a paying passenger being violently evicted from one of his airline’s flights. Face taut, voice soft, Mr. Munoz’s televised prostration was a far cry from the robotic statement issued by United days earlier, expressing regret for “re-accommodating” a traveler.
Anne Frank Center
Kristine Phillips (The Washington Post, 12/04/2017)
White House press secretary Sean Spicer has apologized more than once for falsely saying that Adolf Hitler, who killed millions of Jews in gas chambers, didn’t “sink to using chemical weapons.”
He apologized Tuesday evening, telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that making a distinction between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s alleged use of the nerve agent sarin on his citizens and what Hitler did was a “mistake.”
Spicer apologized again Wednesday morning at the Newseum: “I let the president down. … This was mine to own, mine to apologize for. Mine to ask forgiveness for.” He called his comments “inexcusable and reprehensible.”
Fragile Relationship with the Press
Michael Calderone (The Huffington Post, 12/04/2017)
On President Donald Trump’s 83rd day in office, CNN correspondent Jim Acosta called for an easing of tensions between two warring factions.
“I think at some point we’re going to need a détente between this administration and the news media, or else it’s just going to get worse and worse and worse,” he said.
Acosta appeared on stage Wednesday at the Newseum as part of a marathon session of speeches, panels and interviews tackling the fraught relationship between the president and the press.
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"13 April 2017 - Sean Spicer's Holocaust Comments", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), avril 2017. Consulté le 04/12/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2017/13-april-2017-sean-spicer-s-holocaust-comments