by Alexander O. Onukwue
Donald J. Trump’s appointment of a new director to the White House Communications office has continued to elicit reactions and comments from the US media.
Anthony Scaramucci, the 52-year old banker, was made the permanent head of Communications this week, the role that had been held in a temporary position by departing Press Secretary, Sean Spicer.
‘The Mooch’ as he is known in conservative and pro-Trump media circles is known for being one of Trump’s most vocal backers, though there was the time he referred to Trump, the aspirant, as “a hack”.
Scaramucci is seen as a more Trump-like personality than Spicer, even extending to some suspected dealings with Russian banks.
Top cable network, CNN, had run a story in which it was claimed that Scaramucci did meet a Russian investor prior to Trump’s inauguration. The story was later retracted by the network, leading to the resignation of three of its journalists.
As White House Comms director, it will be Scaramucci’s job to be the official voice of defense of President Trump. Trump has had altercations with the mainstream networks in the US over what he alleges as unfair coverage of his administration. CNN and the New York Times have been his particular targets, both part of the media platforms he has described as Fake News media.
Will Scaramucci decide to be vindictive of the network, in line with Trump’s attack, or will he be more open to them, showing the liberal side of him that has seen him identify with more left-leaning policies such as raising of taxes and climate change?
The Trump administration has appeared to favor appearances on Fox News more than any other network, but the arrival of Scaramucci may see some difference in that line. Perhaps CNN will get its first exclusive interview with the President, something Nigerian cable TV political audiences will be looking forward to.