December 23, 2016

Trump in Transition (v11)

The Apprentice transition team has moved south for the winter, operating out of Florida now for the holidays.
Yesterday the team communicated a communication about the new White House Communications team from Palm Beach. The short announcement was chock full of communicators who will be handling communications for the President.
There will be at least four official communication people who are also all Assistants to the President: Sean Spicer, press secretary; Hope Hicks, Director of Strategic Communications; Jason Miller, Director of (regular) Communications, and Dan Scavino, Director of Social Media.

Noted the POTUS-elect,
Sean, Hope, Jason and Dan have been key members of my team during the campaign and transition I am excited they will be leading the team that will communicate my agenda that will #MAGA.
(As I write this, Sean Spicer is doing an interview with Matt Lauer on the Today show which digressed into a talking-over-each-other-almost-shout fest,driven in part by Lauer's horrible interview style, to be sure. And I'm thinking to myself, that's exactly what we need in the White House press office -- a calming influence to help settle fears when administration members shoot off their mouths, shoot from the hip, shoot themselves in the foot, and all of those other Second Amendment-style metaphors, right?)

There's been some concern from media types, including the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA), as to how the Trump administration will handle the press. Based on the campaign, it's not unreasonable to think that some media outlets would be kicked out of the briefing room, at least temporarily, until they act bigly nice to the notoriously thin-skinned Trump.

And, of course, there have been signals, maybe trial balloons, that the daily White House briefing may have outlived its usefulness, or at least that a shake-up may be needed. For example, incoming Chief of Staff Reince Priebus noted earlier this month that they might do away with the assigned seating in the briefing room, after stating that the seating charts came about during the Obama administration.
This was the first front row assigned seat issue, as I understand it, started in the Obama administration. In the Bush administration, you just took a seat, and I guess there were a couple of people that have had reserved seats. But for the most part, the more formalized reserved seating piece came in over the last eight years.
Except, of course, like so many things the leaders-to-be have said, this was incorrect.
The WHCA assumed responsibility for assigning the seats in the briefing room over the last two decades at the request of both Republican and Democratic administrations,w ho were mindful of the potential appearance of playing favorites if they assigned the seats themselves.
Perhaps we need one more person on the Communications team - the Assistant to the President and Director of Accurate Communications - who can come in behind the rest of the people in the administration and tell a little truth?

Priebus also noted
Look, I think that many things have to change, and I think that it's important that we look at all of those traditions that are great, but quite frankly, as you know, don't really make news. And you know, even looking at things like the daily White House briefing from the press secretary, I mean, there's a lot of different ways that things can be done, and I can assure you we're looking at that.
Spicer echoed that 'doing things differently' message in his interview on Today, pointing out that that Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are important as the administration wants to have more Americans involved in the process, like Trump's 40 million combined social media followers. And, of course, those are media platforms on which Scavino and Trump can communicate without having to have any interactions with reporters.

Trump, who hasn't held a press conference since July, didn't announce whether there will be an Assistant to the President and Director of Telephonic Communications with Fox News on the team, but I assume he'll continue using that as a key piece of his communications strategy.

Also not clarified was who will be the Assistant to the President and Director of Banning the Media, and if that person will also fill the role of Assistant to the President and Director of Determining Who in the Media Has Treated the POTUS Fairly and Nicely. or if the latter will need its own full-time person.

I'll have to go check Trump's Instagram account to find out.