A spokesperson can feel like he or she is in front of the firing squad.
Think of Sarah Huckabee Sanders holding her daily brief for the White House press corps and you might begin to see the resemblance. Include Jason Maloni, Paul Manafort’s spokesperson who was subpoenaed by Robert Mueller, and other representatives who are being sued for defamation for simply issuing denials in defense of their clients, and the picture is even clearer.
Not to mention, there are a couple dozen Hollywood publicists that currently answer a barrage of calls every day about the sexual misdeeds of their celebrity clients—and that’s just the high-profile stuff.
On a daily basis, a host of representatives face a media firing squad, including congressional press secretaries, corporate communicators and media professionals working for NFL franchises, to name a few. While they may not always be confronting a hostile media face-to-face at a press briefing, the flow of incoming calls and emails in the middle of a controversy can be intense.
So, why do they do it?
Usually, they are intellectually stimulated by some combination of the intersection of policy, communications, sports, business, entertainment and politics. They also have a complicated set of personality traits: a large ego tempered with a dose of masochism.