Being Sean SPiceR

      40 Comments on Being Sean SPiceR

“Being John Malkovich”

In Spike Jonze’s crazy and imaginative 1999 film, Being John Malkovich, people pay $200 to inhabit the mind of the award-winning actor for 15 minutes, sensing and experiencing whatever he does. The unique “ride” begins through an office portal and ends with the person being dumped on the New Jersey Turnpike.

As a public relations practitioner, I wonder what it’s like to be White House spokesman Sean Spicer as he defends the crazy and imaginative notions of his boss. In an article in Vanity Fair titled, “The Agony of Sean Spicer,” Jim Lo Scalzo wrote, “As a long-tenured creature of Washington…Spicer was a generally well-liked communications director at the Republican National Committee, with a quick wit and a sense of humor. One reporter who worked with Spicer described him to me as a ‘chill’ and ‘very reasonable guy.'” Lo Scalzo added, “During the bizarre, shocking, and occasionally Constitution-bending…Trump administration, few have appeared to suffer more, perhaps both publicly and privately, than Spicer himself.”

Last week’s accusations that President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower before the election seemed incredibly challenging for Spicer. He and the president won’t let go of the notion, quoting less-than-reliable sources and creating realities that reasonable authorities don’t support. One wonders what goes through the mind of this reasonable guy while he’s behind the podium, defending alternative facts to the watching world.

“The press secretary’s job is to explain what the president is thinking and why he’s thinking it,” Ari Fleischer, George W. Bush’s press secretary, told CNN’s Dylan Byers. “Still, previous administrations have believed the most effective way to advance their agenda was by maintaining at least the veneer of an open and respectful relationship with the press corps. At the Trump White House, hostility toward the media is the agenda. This anti-media posture makes Spicer’s job all the more difficult…the militant propagandism he channels…feels like a performance for the audience-of-one watching him almost daily from the Oval Office.”

I’d pay $200 to be Sean Spicer for 15 minutes to experience how he feels as he twists and spins. Just don’t dump me on the New Jersey Turnpike when it’s over. Your thoughts?

40 thoughts on “Being Sean SPiceR

  1. Gabby Sully

    Being Sean Spicer cannot be an easy job, but Trump himself truly needs to be briefed on how he should present himself toward the media and on the internet (Twitter specifically). Past Trump tweets are always resurfacing and contradicting his new views. Unfortunately, I feel like Spicer is just acting like a pawn and only defending Trump’s motives for the face of the Republican party, not Trump himself.

  2. Jennifer Im

    I wouldn’t want to live as Sean Spicer even if someone said they would pay ME $200 to experience his life. Certainly, it cannot be easy trying to back up the completely unjustified claims of Donald Trump. Just like with your previous post on Kellyanne Conway, I do believe in their pursuit for greater career opportunities, they landed on a landmine that actually resulted in the destruction of their reputation. Sean Spicer is now a joke with SNL and other comedy shows mocking him at every turn. If Kellyanne and Sean wanted their five minutes of fame, they definitely have it. Too bad for them it ends in infamy.

  3. Marielle McCartin

    The situation that Spicer is in is a very difficult one to say the least. I would not want to be in his position for day at all!l Relaying the messages and beliefs of a President like Donald Trump would be difficult to support and his public image is being degraded because of his job to do so. Spicer is losing credibility as he works for the administration and it must be hard to stay true to your values while doing so.

  4. Tyler Weatherly

    It seems like Sean Spicer will have to consider preserving hi sown reputation while working with Trump. I feel as though everyone trying to preserve a positive image of Trump within his team are digging a hole for themselves that they will not be able to claw their way out of once he is out of office. If Spicer isn’t who he has been painted to be under Trump’s umbrella, he will have to do some serious crisis management for himself in the end of it all.

  5. Jenna Morace

    I personally think the Trump getting into the white house is the most ridiculous thing that’s ever happened to America. The fact that people that are known for lying and twisting the truth have the highest power in this country is sickening. It blows my mind that these people are openly talking about twisting the truth and backing up fake news and, they are getting away with it. As for Sean Spicer, he should be embarrassed to have to represent someone like Trump and I would never want to be him for 15 minutes.

  6. Sydney Seligman

    Because, as many people have mentioned in the comments, it is extremely difficult to be in Sean Spicer’s position, I think it would be interesting to get inside his head for 15 minutes. As a once well-liked, well-respected man in a political media community, I imagine it is very hard for Spicer to work for a man with very little respect for the media and news outlets. It is probably very frustrating and stressful to constantly have to clarify, fix and react for the president, which is why press secretaries often do not last an entire term. Sean Spicer has one of the most challenging jobs in the world and because of it, he is forced to suffer. It is a “you can’t have your cake and eat it too” kind of concept.

  7. Haley Moffatt

    Sean Spicer is clearly in a bit of a predicament.. on one hand he needs to agree with his boss, arguably one of the most angry and volatile people in the world, on the other hand, his integrity relies upon his performance as Press Secretary. At the moment, I believe he cares more about how Trump feels about him than the world. This is a sad truth, especially because he is supposed to be the segue in between the president and his thoughts. Unfortunately, it might be too difficult to explain the reasoning behind some of Trump’s actions, but the hostility toward the media probably isn’t going away anytime soon. Even before the election Trump was criticizing the media for how it portrayed him and he’s been harsher now more than ever. It’s unfortunate we have a fairly spineless press secretary not willing to stand up for what the public deserves but then again it seems like a common theme in this administration anyway.

  8. Emily Bravo

    I would never pay to be Sean Spicer. I would not want to deal with an mentally unstable boss. On one hand, I feel bad for Sean Spicer. Like you explained, he has to explain why Trump does certain things. How can he possibly explain what goes through that guy’s mind?! On the other hand, I do not feel bad for Sean Spicer. No one forced him to take the job… He is supposed to be help the media but all he does is make their job 100x harder. He does make SNL writer’s jobs easier…

    1. Alexandra Halbert

      A part of me feels badly for Sean Spicer. It is obvious that his job is difficult (to say the least). He is obligated to defend someone the public often disagrees with. Although, no one forced Spicer into this position. That being said, I would never pay to be him. I don’t think I could handle this sort of pressure, not to mention, the constant scrutiny. His own reputation is influenced whether he likes it or not. Kudos to anyone who could last 15 minutes in his shoes.

  9. wendy timana

    Sean Spicer, from my observations, always seems overwhelmed at press conferences. He seems almost like a child when asked questions. He seems very stressed as well. He has a tough job because he must rationalize and explain what the president is thinking and why he does the things he does. I don’t believe anyone, not even Trump himself can explain why he does the things he does. Sean Spicer is so awkward and uncomfortable at times. He just does not seem to be a good press secretary. He is also playing along with Trump’s schemes and defending him and his “alternative facts.” I wouldn’t pay to be in Sean Spicer’s shoes because in no way no how would I want to defend or explain anything that Trump is doing. Spicer has truly ruined his reputation by working with this administration and feeding into the lies.

  10. Stephanie Rubbino

    Sean Spicer is put in an uncomfortable position but its his job to support and represent Donald Trump. He is doing his job to the best of his ability. Although like it or not people will remember him as the face of most decisions and issues because he is the one presenting them. He will have some sort of damage on his image but that he can bounce back depending on how bad the situation is.

  11. Briana Cunningham

    It is so discouraging, as the PR industry struggles to develop an honest image, that one of the most public practitioners is behaving in this way. Especially because he was previously trusted and well-liked. In a position like that one must question what is
    more important- pleasing their boss or maintaining a
    positive reputation in the industry. Clearly Sean Spicer made his decision and one can only wonder if he will ever be able to fix his damaged image. I too would like to see what it
    is like to be in his position. But I wouldn’t mind ending up on the Jersey Turnpike. At least I would know how to find my way home.

  12. Anwar Ahmad

    I would not want pay to be Sean Spicer for 15 minutes. It seems as though a man with a pretty good reputation has been entangled in a political mess – and there is no coming back from that. I would not pay to basically gain a headache from Donald Trump and his messy administration. I can not imagine how stressful it is to defend and speak for the President when most of his “facts” are not really facts. Spicer seems to be doing his best to support Trump, while maintaining his own reputation but it simply is not enough.

  13. Elana Delafraz

    I’m all about paying for an experience or an adventure rather than a tangible item that will be pushed in the corner of my room. I have noticed a lot of publicists trying to “sell” the experience rather than a product in order to gain more recognition. To me this is really smart because, at the end of the day, it is the memories that count. People are more inclined to remember an activity or event rather than something they got for free. As far as the wire tapping, I think that this whole situation is immature. It should have been addressed once and thus been over and done with.

  14. Sara Fox

    Sean Spicer has an extremely difficult position and under the circumstances, he is doing well. We must remember that it is his JOB to defend and explain Trump’s actions and thoughts, no matter how ludicrous they are. If he doesn’t perform up to Trump’s standards, he will lose his job. Regardless, I agree with Haylee that he will need some good PR once Trump leaves office if he hopes to find work again. Respected politicians, or anyone else for that matter, will not want to hire Spicer after this term.

  15. Anonymous

    Sean Spicer has one of the most challenging jobs I could imagine and seems to be doing the best he can under the extremely difficult circumstances – while he might not agree with Trump, it is his JOB to defend him. Regardless, I agree with the comment made by Haylee that he will need some good PR once Trump leaves office. While he was once respected, supporting Trump is a career killer. No respected politician, or anyone else, would hire Spicer after witnessing him defend Trump’s ludicrous ideas. I don’t think accepting the position was worth it for Spicer in the long run.

  16. Daniela Gagliano

    I can’t imagine being the Press Secretary of the United States, and I also can’t imagine it being a very easy job. I think a lot of the things we learn as PR professionals tie in very closely with aspects of Sean Spicer’s job, and they wouldn’t hurt for him to keep into consideration. When representing the President, it’s important to shed a good light as long as it is truthful. It’s necessary to tell the public certain facts that pertain our well-being, while not all information is necessary to be divulged. It’s hard to find a happy medium between those two places of giving the people too much information versus not giving the people information that they have the right to know. Spicer misleading the press has lead him to fail at the first task as (PR) professional, which is losing trust of his audience. While this is only the beginning, it’s going to be a long road to come back from this but hopefully his mishap has taught him a lesson to at least be more careful and more intelligent with his strategies.

  17. Bianca Kroening

    I couldn’t possibly imagine jumping into the head of a man like Sean Spicer. Putting a positive PR spin is one thing, but blatantly lying, and defending your bosses lies, to a totally dependent public is another. It’s tough for me to decide if he’s doing a horrible PR job, destroying his own public image by compromising his own integrity, or an excellent PR job by defending the most unreasonable boss against all odds.

  18. Brittany Liscoe

    I’d never want to experience what goes through Sean Spicer’s head let alone pay $200 to find out. I think in order to defend someone so relentlessly as Spicer must do for Trump, I can’t help but believe he has to agree with some of the stances Trump is taking. If he doesn’t agree with or believe the facts that he is defending are true, then he is the type of person who gives PR a bad name in the sense that he is defending lies and presenting them as truths. I really can’t decide whats worse. On one hand its alarming to think Spicer believes all the information he is defending but on the other hand its even more frightening to know he may understand that they’re lies and is simply defending false information for the sake of his job.

  19. Alyssa Scott

    I could not imagine the pressure Sean Spicer is under. I do not think I would be able to face the press and defend Trump everyday. It is an unfortunate position he is in and you can not fully blame him for the way he works because he has been doing his job to his best ability. I would not pay $200 to be in his position for 15 minutes, I would probably have an anxiety attack. Although, I would pay $200 to be a fly on the wall during his days at work.

  20. Christina Shackett

    I like to think that Sean Spicer has a soft side outside of the professional side that he shows. As part of public relations, I understand that the persona you show at work can differ greatly from the one that you present in front of many. Even though I heavily disagree with the way Sean Spicer performs his job, I would like to think that he has family and friends who see a much better side of him. If I had $200 to spare, I feel as if though I would pay the price, just in a last ditch attempt to see any good side of Spicer. While this wouldn’t change any view of him from the public, it would ease my worries that someone can genuinely act like this.

  21. Grace Finlayson

    It would be extremely interesting to see what Press Secretary Spicer goes through daily. I would like to know what the strategy is between him, the white house, and President Trump or to see if there is even a strategy. Their daily distractions from what is actually happening in Washington D.C. amazes me and to see the majority of the population follow along with them and agree with President Trump’s madness. There are real FBI and CIA investigations of ties between the President of the United States and his cabinet members involvement with the Russian Government during the election going on, but the President continues to lie on twitter and turn to allegations that former President Obama wiretapped him during the election. These claims have been deemed false, but the President loves to find distractions for the public to focus on when things seem to be taking a turn on his administration.

  22. Elliot Rubin

    Given Spicer’s willingness to further some of Trump’s outrageous claims, such has Trump’s insistence the crowd size at his inauguration was bigger than at Obama’s, and that Obama wiretapped (with questionable evidence), among a few positions Trump has taken since he has taken office raise some serious questions about Spicer. First of all, as a result of these stories and conspiracies, Spicer has demonstrated that as a PR practitioner he is: not dedicated to the truth, and to transparency. On several occasions since Trump has taken office, Spicer has either lied, or misled the public. It is not clear if Spicer is aware of the ethical problems not being completely truthful pose both to his credibility, and to other people in the PR field. Given Spicer’s solid track record, it would seem that he would know the main principles of being a successful PR person, however there is still a chance that he might not. Regardless, the best outcome going forward, for Spicer to try to resurrect his reputation, and for the reputation of PR people to be restored, as well as for Americans to feel like they are getting real, genuine, truthful information for the White House, the best course of action is for Spicer to resign.

  23. Whitney Shepherd

    To be fair, I feel like Sean Spicer is doing his job to the best of his ability, although many of us may not agree with his definition of ability. As public relations practitioners we cringe when we see spokespersons “spinning” the truth and creating “alternative facts” because that takes away from the credible and ethical professionals doing their job. There are many people who disagree with Mr. Spicer always and there are also many people who agree with him as well. The way Sean Spicer chooses to work and deliver his news on behalf of his boss, Mr. President is not geared at us, we are not his target audience, therefore we are put off and appalled. Many people change their work ethic and procedure based on the company signing their checks and right now we see Sean Spicer doing what he ‘thinks’ is right in order to please his boss.

  24. Ben martin

    This is an interesting concept. I personally would not pay any amount of money to inhabit Sean Spicer’s headspace because it would be literal torture. I am too rational a person to be a cog in a malicious machine. I could never ethically get behind an agenda that is vile and threatens so many livelihoods. Sure Sean Spicer probably struggles a ton with his position, as any person with a semblance of a brain should, but he did it to himself so I have no sympathy. I would never associate myself with the Trump administration. That is his own fault.

  25. Sarah Hanlon

    This is fascinating – I too would like to see what exactly goes on in the mind of Sean Spicer. What interests me is the fact that from our first day in PR 100, we were taught that lying is a cardinal sin of Public Relations. Why is it, then, that Spicer lies so frequently? Just today, the FBI declared that there was no evidence to support the claims that President Trump was wiretapped by President Obama.

    Where is Spicer’s allegiance? Clearly, it seems to be with President Trump, and not with his profession or the United States of America. I have a feeling that once he is relieved of his duties of Spokesperson of the White House, he will have a difficult time finding any other reputable jobs in the industry.

  26. Dianne Fallucca

    I am a person who often says I have a hard time understanding things I would not do. As I was reading this, I was making an attempt to put myself in Sean Spicer’s shoes as best as I could for free. In doing the small activity, I concluded that while his job might be stressful, to some extent he has asked for the stress.

    As a student getting ready to embark on the public relations industry, I find it hard to defend, speak on or work for clients I don’t like or believe in. For Spicer, who is clearly a republican in support of Trump, he is likely defending (at least a good portion of the time) beliefs and attitude he himself practices or condones.

    I guess I would want the opportunity to understand the other side of the country’s arguments; however, $200 is a steep price to pay for 15-minutes of ignorance.

  27. Kassara McElroy

    I don’t understand how a person would accept the position of press secretary from a candidate who’s main campaign message was that the media is always wrong. I do not envy the job that Spicer has taken on, because Trump seems like the type of boss who doesn’t understand or value the good that can come out of working with and not against the media.

  28. Madeline Myslow

    The position that Sean Spicer has been put in is unfortunate to say the least. I can’t even imagine the stress he must endure trying to inform the media, please the President, and stay true to himself all at the same time. I can’t agree that I would want to know what it’s like to be Spicer, even for 15 minutes. However, some people must live the life he does in order to keep their job, and that is the harsh reality of the job world; sometimes we must sacrifice some of our moral code in order to retain the position we hold.

  29. Emily Barnes

    Sean Spicer had to have been pretty desperate to agree to do his current job. At this point I don’t think even the best or most “reasonable” PR practitioner could save Donald Trump from his continuous bizarre stories. I certainly would not waste $200 to find out what goes on inside the mind of Spencer when he’s formulating ideas to make Trump sound slightly less irrational than he actually is, because I already know what’s going on inside his head–pure desperation. The Republican party will never be the same post-Trump, and it’s for reasons like these where people like Sean Spicer become so blinded my Trump’s empty promises they begin to spin and lie for him. It’s quite fascinating if you really pay close attention. Desperate people will do just about anything.

  30. Julie Dietel

    One of the first things I remember being told in PR100 was that if you were asked to lie, quit. It didn’t matter that the public would understand that it wasn’t your words the choice to lie was still your own and it would ruin your reputation and it’s clear that’s exactly what’s happening to Sean Spicer. I would love to know what he’s thinking behind the podium because he’s losing his credibility in front of it.

  31. Samantha Storms

    I couldn’t imagine the amount of pressure that individuals like Spicer have to endure on a daily basis. Defending the Trump administration with its unverifiable accusations has proven to be an increasingly difficult task, and Spicer must take the heat. It leads me to wonder what the next four years will bring– the administration has managed to cause itself an incredible amount of damage in such a short amount of time. Spicer will definitely have to step it up if the president continues to behave the way he has been throughout the campaign and into his term’s first few weeks.

  32. Madison Wright

    I would never pay 200 dollars to be Spicer for 15 minutes. If Sean Spicer was “chill” guy before becoming a part of Trump’s administration, he will need to rehabilitate his image after the Trump’s presidency. His “spur of the moment” attitude has put him in some very sticky situations that has caught the attention of many publications and SNL. Sadly, he will not be able to run from this as this is the 21st century and everything is recorded. Maybe if I were to pay 200 dollars, I can help him move towards being a bit more professional.

  33. Courtney Grieco

    Personally, I wouldn’t pay to be Sean Spicer for 15 minutes. As he is the link from the Trump administration to the public, I couldn’t even imagine the heat he has to take on a daily basis. However, I do possess a level respect for him to hold a position that so many people look down upon. I don’t think many people would want to spend 15 minutes in his shoes.

  34. Neil A. Carousso

    My friend and former press secretary for George W. Bush’s second term Dana Perino told me it is the press secretary’s job to defend and communicate the President’s agenda. I believe Sean Spicer has the hardest job in the White House not in defending his “crazy notions,” as you write, but because he is basically interrogated on a daily basis.

    Furthermore, The New York Times reported on its front page on January 20th that Trump aides were wiretapped. Now, they write “no evidence.” A FISA request was granted in October 2016 to surveil Trump Tower.

    Just because one doesn’t agree with the current Administration does not make the press secretary a villain or a character. President Trump was elected by the American people and its time to end the division and support our country. “If [President Trump] succeed(s), then the country succeeds.” – 44th President Barack Obama.

  35. Brier Davis

    As PR professionals it is our duty to perform our job to the best of our ability until we feel a moral and ethical obligation to say no.

    Mr. Spicer has probably the most difficult job in Trump’s administration besides the President himself. He in full view of the world and has to perform his job with the facts and instructions he is given. I think Mr.Spicer is just trying to do his best with what he’s given. Unfortunately what he is given will probably not be very popular with the rest of the world and that makes his job incredibly difficult. I think there is obviously more of a moral grey area when dealing with the president and possibly classified information but until Mr. Spicer is compelled to speak out against his boss, which would be career suicide obviously, he just has to do his best. And we as the media have to realize that the man has a job to do just like they do. Unfortunately, Mr. Spicer just has a crappy boss.

  36. Nicole Lamanna

    Sean Spicer has become an integral part of the Trump Administration. He is who the press goes after in order to keep the administration accountable for their actions. I agree with Lo Scalzo when he said “few have appeared to suffer more, perhaps both publicly and privately, than Spicer himself.” Because as the Public Relations professional, the publics look to him for answers and, if the answers are not up to par, Spicer is scrutinized, as he should be.

  37. Michael Mastropierro

    It’s an unfortunate situation to be in for Spicer. Whether he is a nice guy or not, he is really damaging his reputation and public image by supporting these lies coming from the president. Even though he is much more famous now then he was before, and there is the argument of “no such thing as bad publicity,” one has to wonder whether his negative image is too much to come back from.

  38. Marli Delaney

    I don’t think I’d pay $200 to be Sean Spicer and that’s not just because I’m a broke college student. Yeah, it would be interesting to see how such a renown practitioner spins but I think just about anything else for that amount of money would be more fun. I feel like Sean Spicer would only feel good about spinning if he’s only in it for the cash and then if he feels more remorseful or awkward then I’d just have more of a depressing 15 minutes. Also, in the hypothetical ​situation that people were paying to be Spicer, I know that you (Professor Morosoff) would pay to be him for a bit so you can just let the class know how that goes!

  39. Haylee Pollack

    It’s almost like Sean Spicer needs to do some work on his own personal image, not just that of the president and his administration. If what people say about him is true, and that Sean wasn’t always the man he is perceived to be under Trump’s presidency, he’s definitely going to have to do some PR to help his image, especially when Trump is out of office and he no longer has to be responsible for some of his unprofessional and spur of the moment actions. I guess we will have to see if Spicer truly can come back from this, or if the public’s opinion of him now will stick forever.


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