In an appearance on Wednesday’s “The Late Show” on CBS, former White House press secretary Jay Carney said that it was his view some White House correspondents were playing for the television cameras when they would challenge him in some situations during White House press briefings.
Carney compared his interactions in the White House press room, which were often televised, to those on Air Force One that weren’t televised and said the distinction was obvious.
Partial transcript as follows:
LETTERMAN: Were there people that were just irritating?
CARNEY: Oh, no, no.
LETTERMAN: But because of the intense focus now and 24-hour, seven-day coverage and the social media they can put their own little show on for the press, right?
CARNEY: It’s interesting to see the difference between the briefing in the White House, fully televised carried live, online — tweeted as it happens, and the off-camera but on-the-record briefings we would do for example, or I would do on Air Force One with the traveling press who are on the plane. The difference is like night and day in terms of the tenor. The seriousness of the questions is the same in some cases more serious off-camera. But the kind of posing and histrionics and you know, faux indignation that you get sometimes, which is – look, I have a lot of respect for my former colleague in the press. They’re doing a good job but I think when you’re on TV you tend play to the cameras.
LETTERMAN: Put on the show for the company and folks back home.
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