Exclusive Book Excerpt: Sean Spicer Challenges the Phony Media ‘Fact Checkers’

Sean Spicer The Briefing Book Cover

Breitbart News received an exclusive preview of former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s new book The Briefing: Politics, The Press, and The President, published by Regnery on July 24. In the book Spicer provides a behind-the-scenes look at his tenure working in President Donald Trump’s White House. 

Read an excerpt from the book below:

One group that I find interesting is the self-appointed “fact checkers” of the Washington Post and other media outlets, who could learn a thing or two from their more careful brethren.

For example, when Vice President Pence said there are more Americans at work today than ever before, the Washington Post “fact checker” Nicole Lewis took him to task for failing to note that the United States population has risen, swelling the numbers of those at work. The vice president was awarded three “Pinocchios” out of four for “significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions” when, in fact, what he had said was the plain truth, though Lewis made a fair point about context. When someone tells the truth and the Washington Post deems that person a three-Pinnocchio liar, is that “fact checking” or partisan nitpicking?
After substantial criticism, a Washington Post editor added, “[T]he fact that Pence’s remark elicited applause was a strong indication that it was misleading.” Really? Did the fact checkers rate President Obama’s applause lines the same way? Actually, surprise, they didn’t. David Harsanyi at The Federalist noted this:
Obama was constantly offering simplistic claims about the state of the economy. Without offering any context, the former president would take credit for authoring the greatest economic recovery in history. While this statement was technically true—certainly undeserving of three Pinocchios— Obama also happened to have prevailed over the worst economic recovery in history, despite the fact that, historically speaking, the worse the recession the stronger the recovery. Not once that I can tell did the former president mention that weak labor force participation rates helped bolster his impressive unemployment numbers.
Or consider how AP fact checkers treated this statement from President Trump: “There has never been a presidency that’s done so much in such a short period of time.” You could fairly criticize that statement as political hyperbole (especially if you didn’t like what the president was doing). You could also defend it (given not just the president’s flurry of executive orders and the bills he had signed into law, but his ambitious initiatives that were getting underway in various departments). But AP fact checkers Jim Drinkard and Calvin Woodward made the following response: “THE FACTS: Trump’s first month has been consumed by a series of missteps and firestorms and produced less legislation of significance than Obama enacted during his first month.”
Is that a fact? Or is that an opinion? It is the latter if you regard the signature acts of the administration’s first month as irrelevant, which is what these “fact checkers” did. In reality, most mainstream media fact checkers are opinion checkers.

The Briefing: Politics, The Press, and The President is available here and wherever books are sold starting July 24, 2018


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