W. H. Press Secretary Sneakier Than Previous Presidential Mouthpieces


When you mention a person’s name, if that person is known and understood, an associated word or phrase jumps right into your head. Say the name Kissinger, and “negotiator” probably comes out first, say Schwarzenegger, and the word is “terminator,” say Reagan and the word is “freedom.”

For Jay Carney, The White House Press Secretary, it may not so much be a positive word associated with him, more like a word that is not used. The not likely word is “credibility.”

A Phoenix television reporter accused Carney of receiving and reviewing questions from the press before his daily briefings.

If that is really true, the next valid question would be, is he given his answers in advance as well?

Catherine Anaya, an anchor for CBS affiliate KPHO, said before their meeting with the president on Wednesday, that Carney explained the procedure behind his press briefings, during an off-the-record meeting.

Anaya said, “It was a very busy day. This was off-the-record so we were able to ask him all about some of the preparation that he does on a regular basis for talking to the press in his daily press briefings. He showed us a very long list of items that he has to be well versed on every single day. And then he also mentioned that a lot of times, unless it’s something breaking, the questions that the reporters actually ask, they are provided to him in advance.”

As you would expect, Carney denied that accusation in an email he sent to The Daily Mail.

That wasn’t all Anaya said. She added, “So then he knows what he’s going to be answering and sometimes those correspondents and reporters also have those answers printed in front of them, because of course it helps when they’re producing their reports for later on. So that was very interesting.”

Carney denied this too. In his email response, he apparently said, “If only this were true.”

If true, so much for the 2008 campaign promise that “The Obama administration would be the most transparent in history.”

That is already a joke worthy of David Letterman.

Are interviews part of new restrictions on limiting the access of reporters and photographers to the president?

Dwight L. Schwab Jr. is a moderate conservative who looks at all sides of a story, then speaks his mind. His BS in journalism from University of Oregon, with minors in political science and American history stands him in good stead for his writing.

Dwight has 30 years in the publishing industry, including ABC/Cap Cities and International Thomson. A native of Portland, Oregon, and now a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area.

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