Stephanie Grisham is officially no longer doing the job she never did in the first place. The White House press secretary is out, and she was never in (we could do this all day). She leaves the role having never once briefed the press or berated them for kicks. That's a new record for uselessness, which is quite the achievement for a White House with both an Ivanka and a Jared.

Grisham replaced the odious Sarah Huckabee Sanders in July and since then she fiercely advocated for her downsizing. She claimed Trump was his own "best spokesperson" and the "most accessible president in history." She insisted that press briefings were “a lot of theater" (remember when we had theater?) that reporters used to make themselves famous. She restricted her public appearances to Fox News foot massage sessions, where she was often praised as the hardest-working woman in no business. Take this ridiculous exchange from "Fox & Friends" last fall:

AINSLEY EARHARDT: How do you do it?

GRISHAM: I'm just tired a lot. But if I can keep up with the president, that's all that matters.

The woman did absolutely nothing.

Office Space - What would you say you do here?

It's not like there wasn't any breaking news to discuss with this administration. Trump was impeached in late December, and while that seems like a 1,000 years ago, it was just a little over three months. That would've been enough for a full West Wing season, but there was also the coronavirus outbreak that Grisham completely washed her hands of (thoroughly and for 20-second intervals). When Mike Pence was made the fall guy put in charge of the coronavirus task force, the vice president's communications team also took over — probably because he actually had one.

Grisham's replacement is a potted plant named Andy, but the next real-live White House press secretary is Kayleigh McEnany, who was until now the national press secretary for Trump's failed 2020 campaign. The announcement dropped during the writing of this post and we're pausing to swap out Grisham's photo above with McEnany's because that's how life works.

This is billed as the first major personnel shakeup by brand-new White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, but it's not that shocking. Replacing Grisham is like replacing a flickering lightbulb in your new office. It's more annoying than functional and once you swap it out, you can get some work done.

McEnany is a Harvard Law graduate and obviously Jared Kushner's alma mater has very high standards. She's probably just play acting stupid, and she's the Meryl Streep of that shit. She's argued that Hillary Clinton was the secret mastermind who colluded with Russia to make Trump president. Wow, if true (it's not). She's also suggested — on TV, where people can watch — that it's perfectly legal and swell for the president to accept foreign assistance in his election campaign, which shows you just how much that Harvard law degree is worth. Trump would later get impeached for his attempts to extort a foreign nation into smearing his political opponent.

Meadows presumably hired McEnany because he wanted a press secretary who is more effectively evil on behalf of the president. McEnany, for instance, shamelessly defended Trump last summer after he tweeted racist filth about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib. She claimed Omar — who you might've heard is Muslim — "won't condemn al Qaeda" and that if the congresswoman “hates" America so much (she doesn't) she should just leave. It's surprising McEnany didn't have to shave her head before giving this screed.

CNN panelist unloads on Trump supporter over racist tweets

Yeah, Meadows — supposed BFF of the late Elijah Cummings — wants this woman to be his new latex salesman. She's not an upgrade in the human organism sense, but she has that Fox News-trademarked fire and fury. Grisham was a liar, but she was also the supervillain henchman who might help the hero in the last act because she wants to save her mother in Hackensack, New Jersey. McEnany doesn't appear to possess even that small flicker of scruple. She's young. She's fit. She's gonna run a lie-athon for Trump until he's finally out of office.

Alyssa Farah, who was once Pence's press secretary, will also join the White House communications team in some absurd capacity. Meanwhile, Grisham has been reassigned to the metaphorical farm upstate that's Melania Trump's staff. She'll #BeBest for Melanie as her chief of staff, replacing Lindsay Reynolds whose existence we just learned of today.

[CNN / New York Times]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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