White House press Secretary Jay Carney today lectured reporters how to do their jobs, suggesting they had failed to place in the proper context President’s Obama’s remarks Friday about the private sector “doing fine.”
Carney was answering a question by Ben Feller of the Associated Press, not normally known as a bomb thrower. This testiness will get him nowhere with the press, which is still deeply in love with President Obama but which can be convinced to start toughening its coverage of the president if it feels insulted enough.
Feller’s question was predicated on the obvious notion that this is just the type of statement the White House would seize upon and use to attack an opponent.
In fact, that’s exactly what the Obama campaign did in 2008.
Carney, whose job as press secretary is specifically to distort reality by creating false contexts, was promoting the White House line that somehow the other things Obama said in his remarks Friday change the very clear meaning of something he said twice, which was that the private sector is okay.
Obama’s point was not at all to say, as the smoke being blown up by the White House means to suggest, that it is only doing fine in comparison to the public sector. What Obama was trying to do was highlight the number of jobs that have been created by the private sector and carve that out as a “good news” message designed to make people think that businesses under Obama are doing quite well with respect to hiring.
HIS WHOLE POINT WAS TO SAY THE PRIVATE SECTOR IS DOING FINE. He specifically did not say “compared to the public sector,” because that would have diluted his message.
Of course, the most lefty of Obama’s allies in the media have begun parroting the the “context” defense.
The more the White House tries to explain this and reverse it, the worse it will be for them. “I was taken out of context” is about the oldest excuse in the Book of Excuses. They need to take the hit and move on.