Patterico's Pontifications


Jay Carney Clarifies

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:14 am

[guest post by Dana]

Former White House press secretary Jay Carney reveals a few choice gems as he looks back at his time at the podium…

You came to the administration from Time magazine, where, for a while, you covered the White House. How did your view of journalists change when you switched sides? I’m proud of a lot of my work. But if I had known then what I know now, I would have succumbed less often to chasing the same soccer ball down the field that everybody else was.

Are you saying they’re shallow? I think the format reinforces a shallow approach.

Were you surprised at times how tense things could get with your former colleagues? Sure. It can be surreal at the podium when you go down that front row and you have an exchange with one of the reporters in which there’s very emotional — maybe even theatrical — presentation and back and forth, and then you go to the next reporter and you have the same thing, as if the first one didn’t happen at all. You begin to wonder how valuable a service to the nation that is in the end.

Do people in the first row like to showboat? If you look at the difference in tenor between the on-camera briefings and the on-the-record-but-off-camera gaggles, it’s night and day.

One serious accusation that has come up throughout your tenure is that this is an Orwellian administration, the most secretive ever. I know — because I covered them — that this was said of Clinton and Bush, and it will probably be said of the next White House. I think a little perspective is useful. What I really reject — and would have rejected as a reporter covering this place — is this notion that whether a reporter is successfully doing his job depends on information he is being handed through the front door from the White House.

But won’t all these leak investigations produce a chilling effect? Len Downie [the former Washington Post editor] sat in this office as he was preparing a report about how we were producing a chilling effect, and I was able to take a copy of The Post and drop it on the table and point to yet another unbelievable national security leak. Reporters are still able to get stories and information that the administration clearly does not want them to have.

More at the link, including the “asset” that is Joe Biden and his unfiltered mouth.


14 Responses to “Jay Carney Clarifies”

  1. God, yet another adoring tongue-bath from the New York Times. One hand washes the other, I guess.

    JVW (feb406)

  2. Not to defend Joe Isuzu, but having attended an annual business meeting for an NGO for a number of years as a delegate, and seeing that side of it, and then becoming Chair of the meeting, and seeing that side of it, I know that there are an awful lot of insights that come from going from lion to lion-tamer.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  3. The liberal media down playing immigrant children story is a disgrace! They think they are helping Obama ;but even liberals are disgusted. If bush was in white house the media would be storming those buildings full of raped little girls! Thanks to tea baggers stoping buses full of frightened children at murietta california liberal media now feels it can report story and protect obama at the same time. Better late then never!

    vota (8c55cf)

  4. Say Buh-bye, Perry. Racist.

    JD (addbc4)

  5. Did Perry always write like someone who is still in the process of learning the basic structure of the English language, or is this part of the ongoing dementia?

    JVW (feb406)

  6. Showboating? Showboating!!!? He thinks the reporters like to showboat? Has Carnie ever even watched The One in front of a camera?

    elissa (1f8a0a)

  7. Thanks JVW. I guess it wasn’t just me. I had absolutely no idea what points Perry was trying to make. (Not that I care what he says.)

    elissa (1f8a0a)

  8. …But if I had known then what I know now, I would have succumbed less often to chasing the same soccer ball down the field that everybody else was.

    This is like the Triple Lindy of cluelessness.

    Anyone else care to start on the multiple levels of fail contained in this attempt at a sports analogy?

    Steve57 (c4c6a6)

  9. Back when I was on the high school team that lost the state championship, if I had known then what I know now,I would have intercepted a different football than the one the quarterback threw.

    Because it’s so effin’ conformist if everyone in the game is playing with the same ball.

    Steve57 (c4c6a6)

  10. I think the sportsman analogy that Carney was going for was something along the lines of “I wouldn’t have chased the same old stag that everyone else was hunting for,” but I have a feeling that a guy like Carney is pretty foreign to the idea of hunting.

    Remember that time Tony Snow commented here? He was a good soul, R.I.P.

    JVW (feb406)

  11. Dear Jay

    I know it’s hard for folks in your generation but “Avoid cliches like the plague”.

    Glenn (647d76)

  12. This clown could sell millions of books.
    Too bad liberals can’t tell the truth.

    mg (31009b)

  13. Oceania has always had false accusations leveled against its leadership.
    Oceania has always been at war with Orwellianism.

    Dirty Old Man (4ec992)

  14. Tomorrow is the 4th of July. Which means, once again, it is time to remember the Horns of Hattin.

    This battle for the Holy Land will prove more relevant to our existence than the Revolution, mark my words.

    Steve57 (c4c6a6)

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