As Bryan Preston writes at the Tatler, “Carney Lacks the Gravitas to Represent the White House During the Debt Crisis:”
The president has chosen as his spokesman, the voice and face of his White House, young Jay Carney. Carney is a poor choice in spokesmen. Carney brings no particular depth or knowledge to bear, and brings no personal authority of his own. The White House hired Carney from a magazine writing gig, and there’s nothing wrong with such jobs (I hold one myself, more or less), but he doesn’t seem to have any deep experience or knowledge beyond punditry at all. So when Carney moves into lecture mode and scolds that “we all need to come together” as his lips form a slight sneer, he seems to be about as deep and rich with experience as a blank sheet of paper. There’s no there there with Jay Carney. His voice and visage add precisely nothing, no weight or authority at all, for the White House to leverage. He gives off the vibe of a puppet in the hands of a poor ventriloquist whose lips you constantly catch in motion.
That may not be entirely coincidental, as Jay Nordlinger writes on Carney, and by extension, his boss:
Dan, many years ago — I mean, like 30 or 40 — George Will observed that a congressional staff takes on the characteristics of the boss. If the boss is obliging and folksy, the staff tends to be that too. If the boss is highhanded and rude, the staff tends to be that too. Surely this applies in fields beyond politics.
I couldn’t help thinking of it when watching the video of President Obama’s press secretary you linked to. I had never seen him in action: snide, sniffy, supercilious, insulting. Perfect.
Which brings us to this: Carney accuses reporter Ed Henry — only recently imported from CNN, a division of Time-Warner, the same media conglomerate which employed Carney until not long ago — for “creating a thing” for Fox News:
Meanwhile Ace and Rush Limbaugh have a simple GOP solution to the issue: “Tell Obama ‘We’re Waiting for Your Plan, Chief.'”
Update: How badly did Carney’s attack on Ed Henry backfire? So badly that even the JournoList-tainted Politico reports:
But White House press secretary Jay Carney, going after Ed Henry from Fox News on Wednesday, misfired all over the place by also insulting House Speaker John Boehner for being a “showboat” and exposing a level of secrecy and political calculation in the debt limit negotiations that runs counter to promises President Obama ran on.
* * *
Carney got angry. “Chuck — I mean Ed, you know, the speaker walked away from this deal,” he said.
“You say it’s a great deal so put it out there,” Henry said. “Let the American people — ”
“I think I’ve answered the question,” Carney said. “I mean, I know you’re creating a thing here for Fox…”
Henry, who hardly pulled punches when he sat a few seats over for CNN, chided Carney, “That’s not what I’m doing. You know better than that.”
The White House has previously found it useful to single out Fox, saying they don’t regard the network as a traditional news organization, calling it a “wing of the Republican Party” and equating reporters who cover the White House to Bill O’Reilly and former Fox host Glenn Beck.
The reporters and producers from Fox at the White House are among the most respected in the news business. Next year, Henry takes over as president of the White House Correspondents Association — meaning ever closer dealings with the administration.