That’s roughly how I feel about today’s news that Sarah Huckabee Sanders is out as the White House press secretary.
I won’t revisit at length my dismay at Sanders’ record of half-truths-at-best—excuse me, “slip(s) of the tongue"—during her tenure, and how her behavior taints the communications profession I hold dear. You can read my earlier blog here. Suffice to say that her exit is, at best, a temporary win for truth and respect for the Fourth Estate.
Yes, I said “temporary.”
I realize the role of White House press secretary is a difficult balance—perhaps more difficult than other spokesperson roles—between serving the President and providing factual information to the news media. But the fact is, Sanders never tried to find that balance. She deliberately rejected transparency, honesty and integrity at the behest of her master. I’m not confident that her successor, whoever it is, will be less inclined to play loose with the truth.
That said, I hold out a small hope that the next press secretary will care about truth and ethics as articulated by PRSA’s Code of Ethics. But it's likely a foolish hope. Given the profound lack of concern for truth and integrity at our nation's highest levels, I fear this will be much like the mildew in my shower: a brief cleansing, then a return to darkness.