If you must interview Sean Spicer about his new book, the BBC has shown how to do it.

Hey! Remember Sean Spicer? He just wrote a book.

Spicer was President Donald Trump's first press secretary before resigning just 182 days into the administration. He became a bit notorious for his poor word choices (he accidentally called concentration camps "Holocaust centers") and easily debunked lies (such as his claim that the crowd at Trump's inauguration was the "largest audience to witness an inauguration, period" or the time he defended Trump's voter fraud claims by citing a study's non-existent conclusion).

Since his time in the White House, news networks dashed Spicer's hopes of landing a high-paying contributor role, he completed a Harvard Fellowship that led one student to publicly call for the end of the program in its current form, he showed up at the Emmys for a tongue-in-cheek joke about his crowd size lie, and has started developing his own TV talk show to pitch to networks.


He's been a busy guy, which maybe explains why his book didn't quite get the care it needed, based on some early reviews.

Sean Spicer posing with wax figures of Melania and Donald Trump, which is somehow not the weirdest thing he's done since resigning. Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Madame Tussauds.

Media figures could press Spicer on so much during his book tour. But for the most part, they haven't.

NPR's Mary Louise Kelly allowed Spicer to sidestep a tricky question about Paul Manafort, who ran the Trump campaign for three months during the summer of 2016 and is credited with selecting Mike Pence as Trump's running mate. When it started to become clear that Manafort — who was indicted on a number of charges — was about to find himself in some legal hot water, Spicer claimed that Manafort "played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time." Despite this being untrue, Kelly pivoted away from Manafort-related questions as Spicer stumbled.

Meanwhile, NBC's Megyn Kelly began her Spicer interview with a laugh at Melissa McCarthy's portrayal of him on SNL and later allowed him to wriggle his way out of questions on his crowd-size lie.

Fox Business host Lisa Kennedy Montgomery asked, "How important is the book to changing the perception and the legacy that you have right now?" This allowed Spicer the chance to play up its importance as a "behind-the-scenes" look at the Trump White House.

Of the three, Kelly's interview was probably the hardest-hitting, which is ... not great.

Photo by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images.

American journalists could learn a lot from how BBC Newsnight's Emily Maitlis handled her interview with Spicer.

Spicer tried to brush off a question about his crowd-size claim. But unlike other interviewers, who let Spicer downplay its importance, Maitlis wasn't having it.

"It was the start of the most corrosive culture," Maitlis fired back. "You played with the truth. You led us down a dangerous path. You have corrupted discourse for the entire world by going along with these lies."

In continuing to press the issue, Maitlis was able to get a bit of actual news out of Spicer: He seemed to believe that because the campaign felt like it had been treated unfairly by the press, that telling a lie — though he refuses to admit it's a lie — was justified.

Spicer explained his reasoning:

"We had faced a press corps that was constantly undermining our ability in the campaign to run an effective ground game, an effective data operation. Everyone was saying 'Yours isn't good enough. Hillary Clinton's running a better operation, is a better candidate and campaign. There's no way that you can compete with her.' Time and time again, through the campaign, we heard that. Then we heard similar kind of things during the transition. ... And so, if you constantly feel under attack, then you feel at some point you need to respond and say 'Enough of this.' And when you hear the president and other supporters constantly see this narrative where we are being maligned and undermined and maligned in terms of the validity of our thing, it wears on you."

That's a pretty big admission! Deciding whether or not a government official should tell the truth shouldn't depend on whether or not they're happy with "the narrative" they see playing out in the media.

Maitlis is right — that is a dangerous path, and it's not something that should be rewarded with lucrative book deals and TV shows.

Spicer at a January 2017 press conference. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

Public officials don't get to write and re-write their own history — or at least they shouldn't.

Whether it's Spicer doing chummy interviews to promote his book, Tom DeLay bouncing back from a money-laundering scandal to appear on "Dancing With the Stars," or any of the many other examples of times where the public is asked to more or less forget the lasting effects politicians have on our lives, this really isn't something we have to do as a culture.

There's no law that says that every former administration official is entitled to a nationally televised book tour nor that they're even entitled to a book or TV show at all.

Serving in government is just that: service. In Spicer's case, from that lie on his first day in the job and on, it was a disservice. If journalists must interview Spicer about his new book, they should look to Maitlis and the BBC for how to best serve their audiences.

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Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

Even as millions of Americans celebrated the inauguration of President Joe Biden this week, the nation also mourned the fact that, for the first time in modern history, the United States did not have a peaceful transition of power.

With the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, when pro-Trump insurrectionists attempted to stop the constitutional process of counting electoral votes and where terrorists threatened to kill lawmakers and the vice president for not keeping Trump in power, our long and proud tradition was broken. And although presidential power was ultimately transferred without incident on January 20, the presence of 20,000 National Guard troops around the Capitol reminded us of the threat that still lingers.

First Lady Jill Biden showed up today with cookies in hand for a group of National Guard troops at the Capitol to thank them for keeping her family safe. The homemade chocolate chip cookies were a small token of appreciation, but one that came from the heart of a mother whose son had served as well.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.