Hastings: Jay Carney's 'bias had always been against news itself'

In a campaign trail memoir, Michael Hastings tries to unpack the "mystery" of Obama press secretary Jay Carney:

Carney, you see, had been a journalist once, too. He’d been one of the reportedly 19 members of the mainstream outlets who had left their profession to join the hip and cool Camelot of the Obama years. Dealing with ex-journalists—hacks turned flacks—was like dealing with ex-smokers. They were barely able to disguise their contempt for what they once were, convinced now of their superiority because they had tapped into a part of life that was so much more fulfilling and wonderful than hacking up a lung. Yet they still loved nicotine and thought about smoking all the time, and so in their contempt became the most difficult pains in the ass to fire up a Parliament around, or, in this case, to get a leak from, or set up an interview with, as they held such a low opinion of their former profession that they set out to prevent others from practicing it as well. ...

Watching him in Iowa be Jay Carney of the White House rather than Jay Carney of Time magazine, complete now with a Secret Service pin to show his true status as a campaign trail regular, I understood immediately why he officially crossed over: he’d developed a serious, $10,000-a-day habit of following presidents around the country and the world.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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