White House Press Secretary Hasn't Known the Answer 1,905 Times

Charles Dharapak/AP

Jay Carney — former Time reporter, current White House Press Secretary, and weekly punching bag — has spoken for President Obama and his staff during the most fraught period of Obama's presidency. He was installed in February 2011, less than a month after a fresh class of Tea Party politicians settled into office, and stayed on through the following summer's debt-ceiling crisis; the attacks in Benghazi, Libya; the overheated 2012 election; the Democratic push for increased gun control; and, most recently a spate of scandals involving the IRSthe NSA, and the Department of Justice. That might explain why, in the 444 press briefings Carney had held since, he has so often deflected questions from reporters.

To place one number on his frequent prevarications, Yahoo News determined that Carney indicated he "did not have the answer" to journalists' questions exactly 1,905 times since he began flacking for the President, a subset of nearly 10,000 instances when Carney declined to answer, passed off the question to a subordinate, or claimed ignorance about the subject matter. The entire report forms a brutal dossier of Carney's tenure.

The compilation certainly delivers a sting, in part because Carney is sui generis among his contemporary predecessors. Unlike, say, Robert Gibbs (who recently opened PR firm) or Ari Fleischer (now a sports publicist), or even George Stephanopoulos (who became an ABC News anchor), Carney worked as a journalist at Time for twenty years before becoming the mouthpiece of powerful politicians. (He served as spokesman for for Joe Biden during the 2008 election before Obama tapped him to deal with reporters.) 

Read the full story at TheAtlanticWire.com.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.