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The Suffolk Journal

Commentary: Spicer’s speeches scream incompetence

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Just last week during Tuesday’s White House press briefing, Press Secretary Sean Spicer compared Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to Adolf Hitler. Ultimately, Spicer’s blundering remark branded him an incompetent, undeserving excuse for a press secretary and an embarrassment to the American people.

In response to al-Assad’s chemical attack on innocent Syrian civilians, Spicer claimed even Hitler was not “evil enough” to use chemical weapons against his “own people.” Seeing as Hitler’s regime exterminated millions of innocent Jews in gas chambers, many were confused and uncomfortable with Spicer’s statement.

According to The Washington Post, Spicer stated, “We didn’t use chemical weapons in World War II. You know, you had a — someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.” Regardless of Spicer’s feelings toward al-Assad’s actions, it is rarely a wise choice to bring Hitler into a briefing meeting — especially as the press secretary.

When questioned about his statement, Spicer ignorantly defended himself by clarifying that he was referring to battlefield uses of chemical weapons. However, to say Hitler did not use chemical weapons is far too serious of a statement to be considered a slip of the tongue on Spicer’s part.

Bringing Hitler into any public speech enters a dangerous area of discussion. Chemical weapons are chemical weapons, and they cause mass destruction. In this case, it seemed Spicer was trying to identify the lesser of two evils in an inappropriate environment and ended up making a false statement that spun him into a position of harsh criticism.

The Holocaust was an horrific crisis that shaped our world into what it is today. Those who hold position in the White House must have a thorough understanding of World history — specifically history related to mass genocide.

When Spicer gets in front of the camera, he always seems to make a fool of himself in one way or another. Whether it’s his word choice or historical references, his speeches almost always leave his audience members feeling uncomfortable.

His word choice in particular is often his demise. According to The Washington Post, while responding to the press during Tuesday’s briefing, Spicer said, “I’m not looking to quantify this in any way.” Presumably, Spicer was searching for the word qualify and said quantify instead.

Perhaps he was trying to quantify the amount times he has made errors in historical and political references on camera.

Nonetheless, if he is going to speak in front of a crowd, Spicer should  consider sharpening up his public mass communication skills. No one is asking Spicer to reach a groundbreaking acclamation about genocide or chemical weapons.

All he needs to do is perform his duties as press secretary by acting as a spokesperson to the executive branch of the U.S. government. Spicer should not say anything the U.S. government administration would not say themselves. He is merely a vessel of communication.

In just a few months as press secretary, Spicer has already acquired a humiliating reputation that will stick with him for the next several years. He made an unforgivable mistake by dragging Hitler into a briefing, and he continuously makes himself look foolish by assaulting the English language on a daily basis.

Asking Spicer to communicate clearly and effectively is merely asking him to do his job properly. For U.S. citizens to get the right messages from the administration, Spicer needs to be hyper-aware of everything he says and does, and how it can be interpreted. If there is any kind of glitch in the system, it fosters distraction from his main point and can deliver the wrong message.

Unless Spicer  drastically improvemes his public speaking skills, he will only serve as an obstacle in communication between the government and the people for the next four years.

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Commentary: Spicer’s speeches scream incompetence