Ber­at­ing Sean Spicer at the Ap­ple store is not pro­gres­sive

The Washington Post Sunday - - SUNDAY OPINION -

Re­gard­ing the March 14 Re­li­able Source ar­ti­cle “Spicer con­fronted at Ap­ple store” [Style]:

I am ap­palled by the be­hav­ior and poli­cies of the pres­i­dent, and I think White House press sec­re­tary Sean Spicer is do­ing a pub­lic dis­ser­vice, but I’m sad­dened that we’ve reached a point in which it is ac­cept­able to ver­bally at­tack some­one in pub­lic, make a record­ing and post it on so­cial me­dia like some tro­phy.

The con­fronta­tion was ini­ti­ated by a former el­e­men­tary school teacher who said af­ter­ward that she “wanted to speak truth to power” and sought to ques­tion Mr. Spicer “since he doesn’t like the press.”

Mr. Spicer main­tained his com­po­sure and didn’t re­act with anger af­ter be­ing ac­cused of work­ing for a “fas­cist” and “com­mit­ting trea­son.” He re­mained po­lite as he tried to evade the woman. He made a ques­tion­able state­ment about the woman’s immigration sta­tus — “Such a great coun­try that al­lows you to be here” — only af­ter she con­tin­ued to pur­sue him, pep­per­ing him with ac­cu­sa­tions.

Launch­ing into un­pro­voked ver­bal as­saults against politi­cians and other no­ta­bles in pub­lic (and shut­ting down con­tro­ver­sial speak­ers on col­lege cam­puses) is be­hav­ior I ex­pect to see from un­think­ing re­ac­tionar­ies, not from peo­ple claim­ing to hold the same pro­gres­sive ideals to which I thought I as­cribed.

Peo­ple in the pub­lic eye — whether politi­cians, gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, ac­tors or authors — de­serve a de­gree of pri­vacy when go­ing about their lives in pub­lic.

Stephen Chap­man, Washington

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