Jay Carney Joins the War Against Sunday Shows

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 28 2012 2:25 PM

Jay Carney Joins the War Against Sunday Shows

I have an ally in my War on Sunday Shows: The president's press secetary. Yesterday, under repeated questioning about Republicans' Susan Rice comments, Carney described the president's thinking via snark.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

I think he believes, as he said, that the focus on Ambassador Rice’s comments on some Sunday shows -- now, I know that Sunday shows have vaunted status in Washington -- but they have almost nothing to do, in fact, zero to do with what happened in Benghazi.

There we go! One never likes to see a flack endorse his position -- these people are paid to mislead us, after all. But Carney was a journalist for 15-odd years before he joined the Obama administration, and he appeared to enjoyed exchanges like these:

Q    Wouldn’t it have been more appropriate for Secretary Clinton or for Tom Donilon or -- 
MR. CARNEY:  There are many able members --
Q    I mean, this is somebody from the United Nations.
MR. CARNEY:  Right, and she is one of the President’s -- 
Q    -- a little bit of a one-off at the time.
MR. CARNEY:  Can I just say, Chuck, that this is -- what is the point of the focus on this?  It could have been me.  It could have been Ambassador Rice.
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Carney's a little misleading, but the question is a little stupid. Rice was already a likely candidate for some Sunday shows on September 16 because the U.N. general assembly was coming up. She was already being put in the TV pipeline, so her portfolio was temporarily expanded.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.