Last night, Sean Spicer resigned as White House Press Secretary, ostensibly to leave a "clean slate" for new Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci. Predictably, he is "looking forward to spending more TIME with his family," according to the interview he gave to Fox News shortly after the announcement was made. The real question, though, is why it took so long to get rid of a clearly incompetent Press Secretary. Perhaps the answer can be found in the great political tradition of distracting the people.

A Rocky Start to a Presidency

It's hard to deny that the first months of Trump's administration have been rocky at best, and Trump has done himself few favors in terms of his international image.

But one of the few people who has done as much as Trump himself to damage this image is Sean Spicer. From allowing the press to make him inordinately angry to declaring that, "The president and a small group of people know exactly," what he meant by covfefe, his strategy seems to be clear: to distract from the President's mishaps by being even more of an international embarrassment than the president himself.

While everyone from Saturday Night Live to celebrities in the twittersphere focused on Spicer's ineptitude, Trump has been free to blow up the Middle East and treat it as a joke, defund Planned Parenthood, and try his damnedest to tear down the Affordable Care Act. Never before have we witnessed a Press Secretary who responds to such enormous news items by declaring that the media is biased and the President is not to be questioned.

Dangerous Entertainment?

There's no doubting that Spicer's time behind the podium has been entertaining. On a more serious note though, as entertaining as Spicer has been, he has stuck around far too long. In a country which values freedom of the press so highly, it is shocking to see an administration so hostile to the media thrive.

Spicer - and his blustering, impotent ridiculous rage - may be an entertaining distraction, but it sheds light on a deeper truth.

Spicer's conduct has reflected a culture of distrust of and hostility towards the media, in an establishment which should be entirely answerable to the people. Moving on from him was an unusually wise choice on the part of the Trump team, although the truly sensible thing would have been never to hire him, followed closely by getting rid of him the second he showed himself for the liability he is.

What Next?

Although removing Spicer is a savvy political move, it does nothing to alleviate fears about the culture within the White House. Internationally, we look to ostensibly the freest nation in the world and see chaotic hostility towards the press. Spicer survived as long as he did because he is ridiculous enough to distract the world from the President's foolishness from time to time.

Now he's gone, and not a moment too soon - but as long as Trump's dangerous nonsense remains, does it really make a difference who is delivering it?