“SuPeR Sarah!”

      28 Comments on “SuPeR Sarah!”

Sarah Huckabee Sanders

In Superman comics, there’s a “Bizarro World” in which everything is the opposite of how it should be. In the White House, there’s “Sarah’s World.”

This week, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked if the president, having been accused of sexual misconduct by many women, was in a position to criticize others. “We feel strongly that the people of this country addressed that when they elected Donald Trump to be president,” Sanders responded. Yeah, but didn’t the majority vote for Trump’s opponent? She then scolded reporters for asking about the president’s health after he slurred his words during a speech. “There were a lot of questions on that — frankly, pretty ridiculous questions.” Yeah, but didn’t Trump often question Hillary Clinton’s health during the campaign? Was that not ridiculous?

Despite the constant contradictions, Sanders perpetually rails against the press’s “ridiculous bias,” for which she has her admirers. “Sarah is even better than Spicer!,” “Sarah’s an excellent role model,” and “SUPER SARAH! That girl is swift & sharp as a razor,” they tweet.

Frank Bruni recently lamented in The New York Times that, “we’ve surrendered any expectation of honesty” from the press secretary. Bruni wrote: “(Sanders) dwells without evident compunction in a gaudier fairyland of grander fictions…Her briefings are breathtaking…For some 20 minutes every afternoon, down is up, paralysis is progress, enmity is harmony, stupid is smart, villain is victim, disgrace is honor, plutocracy is populism and Hillary Clinton colluded with Russia if anyone would summon the nerve to investigate her. I watch and listen with sheer awe. With despair, too, because Sanders doesn’t draw nearly the censure or ridicule that (Sean) Spicer did, and the reason isn’t her. It’s us. More precisely, it’s what Trump and his presidency have done to us.”

In the public relations world, ethical practitioners rely on facts and transparency, avoiding spin for fear of damaging their clients’ reputations. This isn’t the case in Sarah Sanders’ Bizarro World. As she spins for “some 20 minutes every afternoon,” she’s harming all the progress we’ve made to improve and enhance our profession’s reputation. Your thoughts?

28 thoughts on ““SuPeR Sarah!”

  1. Owen Lewis

    She’s doing her job and doing it well, however she is not doing the reputation of public relations as an industry any good. While she may excel at the work she does for Donald Trump’s administration, there is a line of ethics that she demonstrates complete disregard for. Furthermore the untruths and half truths that the administration holds to are immoral. Her adversarial position is what her boss wants and is perhaps the only way for her to manage his reputation. I would not to work with her or admire her as a role model.

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  2. Aisha Buchanan

    Unfortunately , the PR communication representation in the WH has been viewed as a joke by a lot of people. Unfortunately , that is due to who is in charge. Sanders is unfortunately doing what her boss wants her to do. Yes, the people should be her first priority but we don’t know exactly whats gong behind the WH walls. I just hope that the respect for the PR communication position in the WH is soon restored.

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  3. Megan Pohlman

    I think it’s “ridiculous” that Sanders finds such questions “ridiculous.” I’m confident that this is just her way of attempting to avoid the questions and comments flying at her about Trump because deep down, she knows the truth. Although I don’t really follow politics, I know that President Trump is not “Making America Great Again,” and Sarah Huckabee Sanders needs to be upfront and honest about everything going on or she is going to lose all trust from the people of the United States.

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  4. Shayla Sales

    Unfortunately, some PR professionals like Sarah Huckabee, and Spicer too, tend to “stick to the script” and resonate their loyalty to their brand and not so much the people. I find it extremely difficult to believe that Huckabee doesn’t find her behavior the slightest bit of unethical. She’s learned the business of PR, and the dos/donts because she wouldn’t be at her position today if she didn’t. For instances such as the communications role for the president of the United States, you disregard your morals and what’s ethically right for the people and listen to the man signing your check.

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  5. Matt Howard

    I do not think the way Sarah Sanders conducts herself in business is necessarily ethical some of the time. She is often complicit in spreading falsehoods asserted by President Trump. When she does this she may be pleasing Trump, but she is failing the American people whom she is supposed to be serving. She not only makes herself look guilty but she also gives a bad name to PR professionals who are trying to be transparent about the way they handle business.

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    1. Summer

      I honestly believe Sarah Huckabee doesn’t believe the information she disseminates at these press conferences. She is filling a duty. I don’t think this will change the practice of PR seeing as media professionals recognize the deception and distortion of facts this administration has conveyed. She has defended blatant lies and has contradicted herself on many occasions. I wonder howling she’ll stay in office or if she is there to stay.

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  6. Brianna Flynn

    I wouldn’t go as far as saying that Sanders is harming all the progress we’ve made to improve and enhance our profession’s reputation, but I would say that she is an example of what not to do in public relations. It’s especially ironic that Sarah Sanders is the White House press secretary, because she should be an example of an ideal public relations professional. Has Donald Trump started the beginning of the end of people seeing the importance of ethical PR?

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  7. Jessica Gilmour

    It’s always been alarming the amount of lies and spin that comes from the White House, but Trump’s presidency has represented the worst of it. The lack of transparency and lack of care towards ethical PR practice is the ridiculous truth we let be our government.

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  8. czackarypenn

    The public’s expectations have been drastically lowered in regards to hearing the truth from the president since Donald Trump was elected. Sarah Huckabee’s job is to make Donald Trump look good and spinning the truth is apparently the only way of doing that. Though she is not the ideal role model for up and coming PR practitioners, she is at least doing her best to not make Trump look like an idiot.

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  9. Ian Budding

    After every situation that President Trump puts himself in where he contradicts himself, it’s hard to generalize what type of expectations that someone would have. Our expectations surely are low because of the president that this country elected, but everyday, it’s something new that no one could ever expect. Pointing fingers and accusing others is what the White House staff has come to; they will attack anybody that they feel threatens them with a question they probably are having trouble answering.

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  10. Matthew Leong

    I never kept up with politics much at all. I found it tough to keep up with everything and generally speaking knowing the bare minimum is more than enough. As far as trump goes, I’m more exposed to what is going on because his tweets and statements often go “viral”. But, the troubling thing is Trump seems to be using his social outreach in strange ways.

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  11. Paula Chirinos

    I feel that “spin masters” such as Sarah Huckabee Sanders shouldn’t serve as a figure that’s ruining the field of PR. She should instead serve as an example of what should not be done in such a profession. It’s s positive sign that the public is becoming aware of unethical practices in media and critically analyzing the news they are given. Now it’s our responsibility to teach the professionals of the future (students) the value of ethics as is being done at universities around the world.

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  12. Nichole Bingham

    I may not be into politics that much but ever since Trump became president, my expectations for this country have dropped to an all time low. Our president has no training in politics what so ever and he would rather tweet about his complaints on Twitter instead of figuring out a solution. It’s hard to trust people because you don’t know who’s your friend and who’s going to stab you in the back. We all make mistakes, nobody is perfect. We have to be careful about what we say in front of people because you don’t know who may be listening. There are so many people out in the work force that will twist your words in order for their benefit.

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  13. McKenna Heim

    Our expectations have definitely lowered when Trump came into office, we now expect the kind of debauchery that he does on the daily with his immature behavior as well as his lack of understanding on how to act. I think that the political world vs. the small and limited spectrum that was Trump’s understanding of the business world and New York are obviously very different in the fields of communication as well as common social awareness.

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  14. Jeffrey Werner

    I agree that our expectations have been lowered since Trump took office. Now we expect a ridiculous tweet from the President instead of holding him to the standard that we’ve held other presidents to. His attitude towards the job reflects from his press secretary. Unfortunately, for the time being, we’re stuck with Sanders and Trump for next three years. So it’s on us to continue with this circus of a White House and disregard Sanders as a representative of the Media. Sanders doesn’t represent us, We represent us and our profession.

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  15. Greg Liodice

    It’s the nature of the industry. People in politics lie to the public. It’s not just Sanders, it’s everyone in politics. The nature of the political industry is the reason why people DON’T trust politicians and the things they say. It’s unfortunate because these are the people in charge but they’re not giving the truth to anyone. I don’t blame Sarah Sanders for saying the things she’s saying, because everyone in politics does this. Just look at the Clintons, they’re no better. They’ve made careers of spinning scandal after scandal and it’s become a norm in politics.

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  16. Haley Nemeth

    It is scary that there is not as much discussion about Sanders’ press conferences as there was with Spicer’s. As said in the blog post, it is almost like the public is becoming used to this kind of press and is giving up trying to correct it. The way Sanders’ answers the questions from the press is putting a bad reputation of PR. Sanders’ is a PR representative for the White House and so when people think of PR they are now going to think of the way Sanders executes her job. As a PR professional it is important to do the opposite of what Sanders is doing.

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  17. Unice Kim

    It is interesting to read about Sarah Huckabee after reading about Sean Spicer earlier this semester. It is almost like watching a TV show watching how the White house is functioning. I think as aspiring PR people we can take Trump’s administration as what not to do in the world of PR.

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  18. Ana G Canahuate Torres

    In the position she is currently in it is normal for the public to missedunderstand her actions when communicating to the country, but the fact of the matter is that she is representing an image and essentially she is doing her job. I honestly believe that she is taking unethical actions but it is not because she wants to as any position one takes in life there will be someone who is hire than you that will be waiting for results, in her case this would be Trump. This does not mean that she should lie to the public when she is responding questions during her press conferences. Based on my morals and what I have learned from reading this post along with my knowledge of PR I wouldnt want to lie in order to get a nice pay check in the end of the day, I believe in the honesty because one wants to represents individuals that bring good things to society.

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  19. Steven Freitag

    Trump’s press secretary has been an great example of what NOT to do in a public relations or communication profession. Spinning as many stories as she had, it was almost like watching House of Cards. After watching a TV show about a corrupt politician and his loyal servants spinning stories for him so he can stay in the White House, Trump’s presidency seems like he took a page from that book. It’s crazy to see a TV show become real life. Unfortunately there is an overflow of celebrity sex scandals covering up the media instead of seeing through the celebrity turned president in the White House. Hopefully something changes this soon.

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  20. Rosaria Rielly

    Having someone be a voice of our government and to represent our country should come with some form of trust that they will be telling the truth and will be transparent with the public. They should not take that power to be dishonest and they should be taken responsible for their actions, as they are a powerful figure that is being looked up to. As the new wave of public relations and communication students enter the workforce, especially under this political rule, it is important to stay true to our ethics with what would be the best for the public as a whole, and to work towards being honest to reporter and to the public eye.

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  21. Kristina Barry

    As someone who works as the White House Spokesperson I think that it is more than important to be transparent. She is not gaining anything for continuing to twist and spin the truth. In today’s society it is crucial to be transparent and tell the truth all the time. She should be one to lead by example instead of speaking lies constantly.

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  22. Raffaella Tonani

    One person cannot bring down all the work that millions of people around the world have done and continue to do. It is up to the people in the industry, and the students starting in the industry to be ethical and to distinguish, as well as decide who is an example to follow and who is not.

    Being ethical is not a contagious disease, it is an individuals person on who they are going to be and how are you going to work.

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  23. Delaney Barac

    Sarah Huckabee is making a living off lying to America. Day by day she ruins her reputation and proves that she is an unethical human. She would gain respect from the citizens of The United States if she were honest.

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  24. claudiabarnard

    I believe that spinning and not giving honest answers reflects badly on Trump. Sanders is a part of Trump’s team so not being honest just gives Trump and the rest of his staff less of a good reputation. Being honest to the public and reporters is the right thing to do, and that is what Sanders should be focused on.

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  25. Abby

    As a White House spokesperson Huckabee Sanders is there to support Trump,it should be her job to give honest answers to the press and ethically she should care about that. Instead, she throws out accusations and attacks as a response to valid questions from reporters.

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  26. Kaitlyn Cusumano

    I believe that it always has been and is becoming increasingly more crucial than ever, regardless of the industry you work in, to be transparent and truthful at all times. All relationships in life must have a foundation of trust in order to be be built healthily. This is probably most true in the political world, as soon as the people think elected officials are being dishonest or deceitful, all trust is lost and almost impossible to regain. Therefore, it is much easier and smarter to be honest from the beginning and not lose the trust of the people. The people will much sooner forget a mistake that one has made if they are upfront and honest about it before they will forget someone who made a mistake and then went on to lie about it. It is simply just not worth it and should be avoided at all costs.

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