Empowerment Techniques Opinion

When justice is at stake, ‘no comment’ only works for so long


White House ‘de-press’ briefing is a ‘no’ show

Watching the latest White House press briefing was depressing. I haven’t watched many lately for that reason, plus the fact that I wind up swearing loudly in the workout room.

While Sarah Sanders’ never-ending string of non-answers is infuriating, it also makes me wonder why the media keep asking the same questions—hoping to get different answers (you know, the definition of insanity).

It’s kind of like watching a three-ring circus, except instead of entertainment we get mostly excrement.

There was a great quote in the second to last season episode of NCIS this week. Paraphrased, it is, “When justice is at stake, ‘no comment’ only works for so long.”

Well, this White House has been using it far too much for far too long—and justice truly is at stake in many ways. It isn’t just the White House that’s culpable. The media shares the blame. Why are they there for what often amounts to nothing new or substantive? Is it because behaving well in the briefing is the price they pay to stay connected to their White House leakers and sources? Is it because once in awhile they’re able to make Sanders trip up a bit?

Protocol and decorum aside, why is the press repeating itself just so Sanders can repeat herself by saying, “no comment?” Where’s the fourth estate responsibility and fire in the belly to serve as the public watchdog?

What’s to be gained by continuing this charade? It’s a long and revered tradition that needs a rethink in light of current White House intransigence.

Where to start? Here are a couple possibilities:

1.      Demand that appropriate and empowered spokespeople be present to fully answer the questions about issues being addressed. If it’s about Mueller, call in the attorneys. When, as expected, the White House won’t comply and these spokespeople are no shows, press the point (e.g., why is the White House unwilling to put any of these mouthpieces on the podium?) Maybe they should corral Rudy Giuliani for the job—if he’s still got one after his explosive Stormy Daniels revelation.

2.      Get in the face of Sanders or anyone else on the podium in an effort to get questions answered. Yeah, it may cost them their White House credentials, but it makes an important statement that freedom of the press is about more than kowtowing to this BS.

By continuing to do more of the same, the press is nearly as lame as the White House press secretary and her minions. Stand up and shout, just as the Denver Post did when the editorial staff railed against its own publisher for practices that did not support a robust news organization.



Mark Lusky, aka The Happy Curmudgeon, has voted for Democrats, Republicans and a Libertarian in presidential elections going back 30 years. As the owner of a 34-year-old, Denver-based marketing communications firm, he is a political malcontent who often quips support for “Thunder the Wonder Puppy” as a presidential candidate. (Too bad George Carlin is no longer among us to make a run—although he likely would have known better.)

One reply on “When justice is at stake, ‘no comment’ only works for so long”

You nailed the need for impartial and tough journalism during this time of hyper partisan politics.

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