On September 18th, former White House press secretary Sean Spicer rolled onto the Emmy’s stage wielding the podium Melissa McCarthy made iconic through her mocking imitation of him on SNL. His appearance was met with applause and laughter. He might as well have been Melissa McCarthy in a balding wig for all the welcome he received.
He boasted of the crowd size at the Emmy’s recalling the language he used to aggrandize January’s inauguration attendance. A lie he defended so fervently, you’d think he was reassuring us that his boss’ tiny hands were not representative of his other extremities.
Of course, the size of the inaugural crowd is not the biggest lie he told but the selective memory of Hollywood chooses to brand this lie as laughable while shrugging off the others. Sure, he defended Trump’s lie that three million people voted illegally in the US. Sure, he defended Trump’s lie that President Obama committed a felony by wiretapping him. Sure, he claimed Hitler did not use chemical weapons during World War II. But, you know, he’s still a swell guy.
As the crowd laughs, Sean Spicer is now in on the joke. He is now a guy who was used to boost Trump’s inexhaustibly fragile ego. Hollywood has endorsed this narrative by no longer allowing us to laugh at him and forcing us to laugh with him.
Just 58 days after leaving the Trump administration, one thirty-second bit has transformed Spicer’s infamy into fame. Suddenly, Sean Spicer is a likable guy who made some mistakes rather than the pathological liar with no moral compass that he is.