Country's most prominent spokesman gets Harvard fellowship, proceeds to talk only off the record

The Crimson reports on Sean Spicer's brief tenure as a fellow at the Kennedy School, in which he said absolutely nothing that participants in his discussions could publicly relate, because he prefaced them all by saying they were off the record:

I was in a classroom session with Spicer and he told the same stories, including several easily refutable lies, that he’s told publicly since leaving the White House (some items were leaked). The classroom session followed the same playbook as his Press Secretary tenure: Dodge hard questions, make a few false statements, attack the media, claim that Trump is treated unfairly, etc. The off the record policy did not make him particularly candid.


Free tagging: 


I can understand their

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I can understand their wanting to keep things under control... so could a compromise be that they allow these people on campus and allow them to speak off the record until after the fact? It would work in a way that those at the events would be told the comments would be off the record until the end of the visit at which point what was said is no longer off the record. It would allow the school to keep these sessions from getting out of control but would bring what was said to the greater community.

It seems silly to bring someone like Spicer on campus just to keep a lid on everything he says.

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Not sure how that would help

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They limited who could go see him to keep things under control. I get that. However, the point of "off the record" is to allow people to candidly speak the truth. Spicer clearly had no intention of being truthful (unless he REALLY has drunk the Kool-Aid.)

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I think Ms. Brazile just came

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I think Ms. Brazile just came out with a book. Looks pretty interesting.

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What off the record policy?

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What off the record policy? Were students required to sign some sort of NDA before attending? What if it's too incoherent to be recorded on the record anyway?

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University policy on OTR?

One of the reasons that universities put forth for why they don't accept funding for classified research or corporate-sponsored research under NDA, is that they are committed to the dissemination of knowledge, and that the activities of the institution should be directed at that goal. I wonder how conducting seminars that are off the record comports with that policy?

(University researchers are allowed to do classified research on their own time so long as it does not conflict with their obligations to the university; any big research university has, as neighbors, one or more facilities where researchers moonlight on work that may be classified(e.g., Lincoln Labs, Draper Lab, etc. )

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There is but one

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laboratory at Lincoln.

Lincoln Lab. Singular. Carry on.

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Lincoln Lab is not just a

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Lincoln Lab is not just a neighbor. It's fully a part of MIT.

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Off the record - legally binding?

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The Huff Post article included the line that Harvard's policy is that these discussions are off the record. What would happen to a student who went off the off the record road?

Harvard does not want to loose money or anger people with power. The Harvard bigheads cowed to the CIA but kissed up to people who are - on the record - lying.

Must be hard to have a billions in an endowment, a reputation as a good university but still need to kiss up to people even more powerful.

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Can we get Sen. Warren's Harvard job application on record?

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Can we get Sen. Elizabeth Warren's Harvard job application on record or (off the record) to see if she "checked the box as Native American" stealing a job from a real Native American?

If the university's job is to impart knowledge to its students, who cares if Spicer was "off the record?" Those in attendance got to hear him and learn. Given today's media, with 92% stories on Trump being negative, "off the record" gives Spicer some modicum of protection. Another smear. Keep it up!

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Stuck record

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Like a needle stuck in a groove the non-stop ad hominen attack. Okay. Fine. If Trump shares his taxes I will agree that Senator Warren should make her college papers available.

It's called quid pro quo. Given this is politics it seems fair to me.

As for Spicer's "off the record' statement it is important to employ people who are honest. Spicer repeated Trump's lies. Employing Spicer even for a short time meant that Harvard willingly employed a liar.

Okay. Maybe to give Spicer the opportunity to show the he can speak truthfully when his job is not on the line. Yet apparently he is also a stuck record.

If Spicer wants to be viewed as credible then he needs to let his words be heard. Choosing to hide behind "off the record" is to continue living in dark shadows where lies are spun as truth, where sins are claimed to be virtues.

But there will always be folks who prefer lies to truth. Because by spending their lives in the comfort of lies the anxiety of truth makes them feel like they will fall off a precipice.

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