If you needed more proof that the corporate news media is one giant factory of nepotistic nothingness, the recent hiring of former Obama press secretary Jay Carney by CNN should hopefully dispel any myth of its relevance.
Speaking to Politico before Obama’s speech on ISIL last night, Sam Feist, Washington CNN bureau chief stated that:
“Jay’s unique experience as both a journalist and a White House press secretary make him an invaluable voice for the network as we cover the final two years of the Obama administration and look ahead to the coming campaigns…We’re fortunate to have Jay on our air tonight to provide analysis and insight surrounding the President’s address to the nation.”
On the show, Carney went toe-to-toe with a particularly combative John McCain, and unsurprisingly defended the President’s speech and strategy on ISIL. While Carney maintains the he is no Obama shill, he didn’t do much to dispel the idea as he essentially reenacted his former role (much to the irritation of McCain who disagrees with anything the President says as a matter of policy).
Regardless of whether Carney is a good guy, good at his job, or even right, he was a paid spokesperson for the President and spent his career selling things he didn’t necessarily believe in. The job of a press secretary is, after all, to put a positive spin on whatever company/organization they happen to be working for.
Carney had a long career as a journalist for perhaps the worst most banal, milquetoast news magazine in history, Time magazine, where he finally made Washington Bureau Chief three years before he became Obama’s press secretary. Any serious journalist would refuse to become a press secretary for any organization, but in corporate America, a career in journalism has little to do with speaking truth to power and everything to with getting close to it. Carney followed the path many in the industry have, joining the never ending conveyor belt from the corporate news media to politics, then back again.
This isn’t to pick on Carney in particular. As someone who generally agrees with a lot of what Obama does in office, I often found myself agreeing with Carney while he was press secretary. But then that’s like agreeing with a Coca-Cola ad because you like Coke.
Press secretaries are a special breed of people who have no fixed positions, no strongly-held beliefs, and no commitment to the truth. I know several, and the best freely admit this.
That means two things when it comes to the insight Carney will be providing CNN:
Firstly, we can never really know what Carney genuinely thinks about anything.
Secondly, it is virtually guaranteed that Carney won’t offer anything remotely balanced when it comes to covering President Obama – unless he was unknowingly jilted by his former employer à la Scott Mcclellan and wants to use his new platform to tell everyone what really goes on in the Obama White House.
So of course, who better for CNN to hire to cover Obama than Jay Carney?
It is amazing that CNN and its competitors haven’t moved on from hiring hacks from their respective sides of the aisle as ‘analysts’ then watching them hurl talking points at other paid hacks, who then respond in kind. One would have thought Jon Stewart’s devastating appearance on CNN’s ‘Cross Fire’ all those years ago would have put a stop to it, but alas, this model apparently still constitutes news in America, and it isn’t going anywhere soon.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.