Thank you for coming in today. As you surely know, these White House positions are very competitive. For this role, we’re really looking for a team player. You know, someone who will take the Trump agenda to heart and defend any stances that the President may take. So, with that in mind, I’m just going to go over some hypothetical situations – scenarios that you may or may not face in this job – and gauge what your potential responses would be. Sound good? Wonderful. Let’s get started.
I’ll just put this “what-if” out there to get the ball rolling. While holding a special White House event for National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, President Trump goes off script and starts berating Senator Chuck Schumer, repeatedly referring to him as “Yente”, the matchmaker character from Fiddler on the Roof. After the C-SPAN footage of this event goes viral, would you go on Twitter and write:
a) “The President should be ashamed of himself for exhibiting such pettiness during what should’ve been a solemn commemoration of the sacrifice made by our armed forces,”
b) “Mr. Trump showed unparalleled class and respect during today’s well-attended Pearl Harbor event. His clever, light-hearted remarks about Senator Schumer were met with much applause and laughter from the crowd. He is truly the people’s president”
Uh huh. Very good. Okay, let’s do another one. During a White House press briefing, Sean Spicer tells a reporter from CNN that he “has his statement right here,” and grabs his crotch for emphasis, but in doing so, he trips over one of his baggy pant legs and tumbles off the stage. Now, following this press conference, would you write an op-ed stating:
a) “Sean Spicer has lost any shred of credibility he may have had left with the media and the American public,”
b) “I could not imagine someone more qualified than Sean Spicer to be the conduit between this administration and the people. His masterful powers of rhetoric are outmatched only by his delicate, ballerina-like grace”
That’s just wonderful. Alright, now this one may be a little tricky. Donald Trump signs an executive order revising American immigration policy. Now any immigrant who is a legal resident of the United States will be assigned another immigrant to have ride on his back, piggy-back style, in order to prevent overcrowding. In the wake of this announcement, do you leak to the press:
a) “Trump’s coordinated and sustained persecution of the immigrant community further underscores the ever-dimming light of American values,”
b) “The American people are so fortunate to have such a brilliant, fearless leader steering the ship of state. Much like Moses of the Old Testament, Mr. Trump will guide us to the brighter tomorrow promised by our Forefathers”
Fantastic. You’re doing great. Now, say in the middle of a press conference on US foreign policy in Yemen, Mr. Trump starts to debate whether his daughter Ivanka is more attractive than Cameron Diaz was in the beloved 1994 Jim Carrey film, The Mask. If a reporter were to call you after for a comment, would you:
a) denounce the President’s statements as “crass, disgusting, and lacking the coherency of someone possessing an ounce of sanity,”
b) say that Donald’s love for his daughter is an “aspirational model for fathers everywhere. Cameron Diaz’s career has been in the toilet ever since Vanilla Sky”
Really terrific answers here. Let’s just do one more. A Washington Post reporter, while investigating an anonymous tip, stumbles upon the secret dungeon in the D.C. sewer system where we lock up Steve Bannon during the full moon. If you were to go onto an MSNBC panel show to discuss this breaking news, would you:
a) declare that our government is being run by a “pack of rabid hellbeasts bent on the subjugation of humanity,”
b) applaud the President for “assembling a braintrust that boasts such diverse backgrounds and talented minds. It is truly a new Camelot”
Outstanding. Thank you, again, for coming in today to speak with us. We’ll be in touch soon about next-steps.
Andy Newton is a writer living in Astoria, Queens. His work has been published by National Lampoon and McSweeney’s.