Sunday, April 16, 2017

When Eyebrows Beat Bombast: The Subtle Devastation Wrought by Ashley Parker

As Sean Spicer tried to dig himself out of the hole he had dug himself, only to make things worse, trying to explain why Assad is worse than Hitler because Hitler never gassed his own people, or, wait, maybe he did in "Holocaust Centers" but he never dropped bombs with gas on them, which is even worse than "Holocaust Centers," cameras caught the reaction of two White House reporters listening to him.

As Spicer sputtered and fumbled and looked like, "Oh, please get me off this stage," a reporter for the Washington Post, Ashley Parker,  listened silently, but across her face, which she was clearly trying to control, flitted expressions which are simply ineffably great. Behind Ashley, April Ryan's face was far more demonstrative, but it was the contrast between the two which played so well and made this moment an instant "meme" on Twitter.  It all went viral.

It is a true Schadenfreude moment, watching Spicers squirm, in agony, on the pin wielded by the White House press corps, and Parker's response is, at first, not easy to read, more of a "Wait. What did he just say?" 

This progresses to "No! he didn't say that! And is he not going to correct himself." Then, the faintest hint of a smile plays around her lips, while she is able to contain her eyebrows, momentarily and then you shift focus to April Ryan, whose face is clearly saying: Where did they get this clown?
Where is C.J. Cregg when you need her?

It must be a little vexing for Parker, who, at 35, has been building her career, patiently, daily, with discipline. She wrote for her high school paper, wrote and wrote at The University of Pennsylvania, got a job with the New York Times , out of college and now works for the Post.  She has written reams of articles over the years and for those who notice by lines, it's clear she has built a solid body of work. 

Now, in fifteen seconds, she's become famous for not writing a word, simply listening, with effect. 

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