Jay Carney's Biggest Regret: 'Occasionally I Took the Bait'

Image: Jay Carney's Biggest Regret: 'Occasionally I Took the Bait'

Friday, 20 Jun 2014 07:48 AM

By Greg Richter

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Outgoing White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says his biggest regret of his three years on the job was that he sometimes "took the bait" of the press corps.

Appearing on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report"  on Thursday, Carney said it is easy when standing above the press at his podium to gain an air of superiority and feel like you've won an argument when you haven't.

If a reporter "feigns indignation" and Carney fired back, he would assume he had gotten the better of his adversary. But when he watched it later on television the entire exchange wasn't shown.

"They just see you wagging your finger or looking like a jerk," he told host Stephen Colbert.

"I didn't do that often, but when I did …" Carney started. Colbert interrupted, "It was to Jonathan Karl of ABC News."

"We had our moments," Carney admitted.

Before working for Vice President Joe Biden and then President Barack Obama, Carney was the Washington bureau chief for Time magazine. He told Colbert he wasn't as aggressive as the current crop of White House reporters, partly because Time was still just a weekly news magazine then.

He also blamed the disharmony on the fact the daily press briefings are televised live.

"It creates a theatricality to it and some righteous indignation," he said. "People pose and they want to hear themselves talk or they want to create moments."

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