Buckle up. This might be a bumpy ride.
First things first. I’m not here to talk about Trump. I’m here to talk about his press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who I believe might have one of the most difficult jobs in the country.
She comes off a little angry. She doesn’t smile a lot. She doesn’t laugh ever. She doesn’t exactly seem like she’s fun at parties.
However, it’s not her job to crack jokes. She is quick-witted and sharp. She is well-informed and can take a dig at a reporter like nobody’s business – which those reporters deserve for asking asinine questions or pointed inquiries intended to embarrass the administration or sensationalize a non-issue.
She’s only 35 years old. She was born in the 1980s. Give the woman a freakin’ break. I’d run out of the White House crying every day if people treated me the way they treat her.
Also, Sanders’ job is to defend President Donald Trump, and I think she earns every penny of her reported $179,700 salary. OK, that might be slightly excessive, but let’s not split hairs.
It is true that there is some bias in the media. Most of us don’t like to admit it but we are in fact human and we have personal feelings about things. If a loved one can’t afford health care or was killed in a war or is struggling to gain citizenship, it may affect the way we vote and the way we think, but it should not affect the way we write.
And yet, sometimes it creeps in. It also affects the way we ask questions. Occasionally reporters in the big markets try to impress each other by throwing out zingers which benefit absolutely no one.
As long as “Saturday Night Live” is on the air, the commander in chief is going to be fodder for ridicule. Maybe that’s not fair or right, but I don’t foresee an end in sight, and it’s usually the job of the press secretary to redirect the narrative from something silly like the president’s hair to something that really matters.
And that is why I believe Sarah Huckabee Sanders – like her or not – is up against a pack of wolves when she walks into that press briefing. And gosh dang it, she holds her own. She doesn’t stumble over her words. She doesn’t say, “I don’t know.” She quips back immediately and does an excellent job of representing a president who is not always easy to represent.
Several years ago I was communications director for the city of Bryan, Texas, and in my two years on the payroll there, both the police chief and city manager made the front page of the newspaper for domestic violence allegations. I had to hold press conferences, stacked with questions from my former colleagues at the local paper and TV station. I made some mistakes and I learned a lot. It was scary. You feel like you’re on trial when you’re up there speaking on behalf of someone else. So I have utmost respect for Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
I also think it’s abhorrent that the owner of the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Va., asked her and her family to leave because she works for the Trump administration.
At the end of the day, it’s a job. Somebody’s got to do it. She’s good at it and I think she genuinely believes in this president.
Regardless of your politics, you have to give her credit for that.
April Towery is the managing editor of The Sealy News. She can be reached at 979-885-3562 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.