The reviews are in for The Briefing, Sean Spicer’s book released Tuesday, and it’s not looking good for the former White House press secretary.
ABC News’ Jon Karl, writing for the Journal, mocked the “army of metaphors” used to praise President Donald Trump, who Spicer likened to “a unicorn, riding a unicorn over a rainbow.”
“Mr. Spicer’s book is much like his tenure as press secretary: short, littered with inaccuracies and offering up one consistent theme: Mr. Trump can do no wrong,” Karl wrote, adding that Spicer had “not been well served by the book’s fact checkers and copy editors.”
In one passage, Spicer refers to the author of the infamous Trump dossier as Michael Steele instead of Christopher Steele; in another, he describes a reporter asking former President Barack Obama a question at a White House press conference in 1999 ― nearly a decade before he was elected.
“Spicer has already made his bed — it’s a shame he continues to lie in it.”
The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple didn’t mince words in his commentary either, accusing Spicer of having a “tragicomic lack of self-awareness.”
“The Briefing isn’t a political memoir, nor is it a work of recent history, nor a tell-all, or tell-anything,” Wemple wrote. “Rather, it is a bumbling effort at gaslighting Americans into doubting what they have seen with their own eyes as far back as June 2015, when Trump announced his candidacy and labeled Mexican immigrants as rapists, beginning a pattern of racist attacks.”
Some critics were more measured in their critiques. NPR’s Annalisa Quinn applauded Spicer for criticizing Twitter and for providing a “valuable sketch of what it looks like to move up through conservative Washington politics.” But Quinn also calls out the book’s shortcomings, of which there appear to be many.
“Spicer leaves out important context and doubles down on some of the lies he became famous for as press secretary, including his absurd claims about crowd size at Trump’s inauguration,” she wrote. “Spicer has already made his bed — it’s a shame he continues to lie in it.”