White House: We don't know nothing about nothing.

This exchange between Jake Tapper, ABC Senior White House Correspondent, and Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary is, bluntly, bizarre.

For context: Jake is asking Carney about, naturally enough, the situation with the nuclear reactor problem in Japan.  Specifically, the most recent details about the nuclear reactor problem, given that both the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Japanese government are both keeping mum on the subject.  The standard procedure for a Press Secretary who doesn’t have the answer to a question like that? “Well, Jake, that’s a good question and I’ll get back to you on that.”  Which is a weasel, but it’s a successful weasel because that’s also the answer that you give when you really don’t know the answer.


Carney went… elsewhere.

CARNEY:  Well, it is clearly a crisis.  There is clearly —

TAPPER: We know it’s a crisis, we know it’s deteriorating, but what specifically is going on?

CARNEY:  And — well, again, I’m standing here at the White House.  I think you have reporters in Japan.  You have reporters, including ones here, who could get the technical detailed information on what we know from the NRC, from the Department of Energy.

TAPPER:  We should rely on the media and not the government?

The rest is Carney answering “No” because answering “Yes” would probably get him fired; despite the fact that “Yes” was clearly the implicit answer that Jake was supposed to accept without question.  But maybe that’s just part of the new style of things?  After all, who should really expect the President or his staff to be on top of anything besides the broad outlines that one finds in a speech?


…as though just simply giving speeches is enough to prove her qualifications – speeches written by speechwriters.  She’s obviously gives a great speech, but she’s going to have to I think at some point, I think the American people are going to want her to show that she’s capable of answering these questions.


Well, besides Jay Carney, of course.

Moe Lane (crosspost)


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