Media Stars Slam Sean Spicer’s Emmys Cameo for ‘Normalizing’ Dishonesty

“He was willing to humiliate himself on a very big stage,” says ABC’s Jonathan Karl

Last Updated: September 18, 2017 @ 7:22 AM

Viewers and audience members — including star impersonator Melissa McCarthy — were visibly shocked Sunday night at the 69th Emmy Awards when former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer made a surprise appearance Stephen Colbert’s opening monologue. As for members of the press? They’re vexed. And some are just plain mad.

Spicer was famously parodied by McCarthy on the Emmy-winning “Saturday Night Live,” and McCarthy’s reaction — along with many others in house at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles — was priceless. Spicer made a joke about the crowd size, playing off his comments about Donald Trump’s inauguration having the biggest crowd sizes ever.

“This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys. Period! Both in person and around the world,” said Spicer on Sunday night, using the exact same line he used after the inauguration, just subbing in the word “Emmys.”

But media stars were slow to laugh at the memorable moment on Monday.

“I had a mixed reaction,” said George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning America.” “Listen, anybody can make fun of themselves — that’s a good thing — but this is a pretty serious problem. Jon Karl said in the White House briefing room every single day, where Sean and other representatives of the administration simply didn’t tell the truth.”

“He showed he was willing to humiliate himself on a very big stage,” added Karl, ABC’s White House correspondent, who was on the show Monday. “But he’s joking about the fact that he blatantly mislead the American people on his first day on the job.”

“Are the Emmys lending Spicer a hand? Are they normalizing his usual dishonest behavior from the podium?” asked CNN’s Brian Stelter Monday morning. “That’s what a lot of liberals say. It was inappropriate for Stephen Colbert to be laughing with Sean Spicer.”

Over on Twitter, GQ Correspondent Keith Olbermann called Spicer’s cameo “unforgiveable.”

“Shame on the Emmys for the Spicer validation,” Olbermann said. “He is dedicated to demeaning our craft and restricting our freedoms of speech.”

“When U.S. history records the crimes of this administration — and the names of its enablers — Sean Spicer on the Emmys will be a VERY bad look,” tweeted Seth Abramson, a lawyer and guest on networks including CNN and MSNBC.

“Sean Spicer is an opportunist who regularly lied directly to citizens as the spokesperson for an elected leader. Did I miss the funny bit?” said Brian Klaas. He added, “The treatment of Spicer is another breakdown of political norms. If we just joke about and reward people who lie in government, more will.”