Jay Carney, the White House press secretary who resigned his position after three years of service to President Barack Obama, has given his first interview since leaving Obama’s White House on June 20, according to Yahoo! News on Thursday. While speaking to New York Times Magazine this week, Carney opened up, rather critically, about dealing with the White House Press Corps – a group of journalists of which he was once a part.
Carney, 49, heavily criticized the conduct of the reporters he needed to deal with, day in and day out, in Washington, D.C. Beyond criticizing the demeanor of the journalist-reporters, he also questioned the value of the White House Press Corps as it conducts business in reporting on the president and the White House. According to Carney, the method of dealing with the reporters can be surreal from his perspective on the speaker’s side of the podium. He said that dealing with the reporters on their side of the podium involved an exchange with one reporter after another that can be very emotional – or even theatrical.
Carney said that if you look at the difference in tenor between the on-camera briefings and the on-the-record-but-yet-off-the-camera gaggles, it is like night and day. Ordinarily, it wouldn’t be surprising to hear an outgoing press secretary or other White House position complain about the job – even if it isn’t considered the most professional thing to do after leaving a job. In fact, human resource specialists dissuade people from badmouthing anything about their past job while in the market for a new job – as Carney says he will be in the near future. After all, Carney was on the side of the podium that he is currently criticizing. Before becoming Obama’s White House Secretary, he was a Time correspondent during the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations.
Referring to his past work as a correspondent, Carney said that he is proud of a lot of his work from back then. But, he says, “If I had known then what I know now, I would have succumbed less often to chasing the same soccer ball down the field that everybody else was.” In stark criticism, he said he thinks the format reinforces a shallow approach.
It was predicted that Carney might step down at the beginning of the year, by this writer. Carney has had a very difficult job by having to defend the continuous scandals of Obama and his administration, day after day. He ended up announcing his decision to leave about three weeks before he was replaced by Josh Earnest on June 20. From here, Carney is not quite sure what he will do next. He says he will not return to being a full-time journalist, but he says he “may write a bit.” He asserts that he is not going to disappear. There has been speculation that he will be a political pundit for one of the major television networks, according to the New York Times, but Carney suggests that that is not a given for his future work.