The New York Times, ever eager to leap to the defense of embattled Obama Administration officials, has a puff piece extolling the virtues of White House Spokesman Jay Carney amid the slings and arrows he must suffer.
Noting that Carney started on the other side of the aisle as a reporter before he wound up as the press’s adversary, the Times writes:
If the incoming mortar fire is leaving wounds, Mr. Carney, the bespectacled, baby-faced press warrior, does not feel them. “Honestly, I find it enjoyable,” Mr. Carney said. “I find it challenging. It’s hard, but it’s better than 45 to 60 minutes of calling on reporters who are kind of sleepy and disinterested. For me personally, it has been a good week.”
The article quotes Ann Compton of ABC News Radio, “The downside for Jay on this is his own repeated statements are cast under a considerable cloud.” Compton then vacillates, “The flip side is he does not appear to be a policy voice arguing on behalf of fuzzing up the facts.”
The Times shifts back to Carney: “‘I don’t take it personally,’ he said of the tough questions lobbed by his former peers.”
The Times quotes Antony J. Blinken, a deputy national security adviser, who recommended Carney for the post of communications director, and later chief spokesman, for Vice President Biden, later upped to the White House:
You always wonder about someone coming in from the press side. They bring certain obvious advantages, including a deep institutional and personal knowledge of the media and being able to put themselves in the minds of the people covering the White House. But you have the question mark how is this person going to adjust to being on the other side? What struck me was how quickly and effectively Jay plunged into his new role, his ability and the energy he put into in defending the vice president.
Finally, Carney is compared to a zookeeper or ringmaster, trying to handle the chaos caused by “animal” reporters:
Yet there also appears to be an unspoken expectation in the White House that Mr. Carney can somehow control the news hungry animals with which he once shared the zoo, which is largely untrue.