- Great Britain tops World’s Most Sexist Nation list
- Aaron Hernandez investigated for threatening to kill prison guard
- Putin tells Merkel that Ukraine is on the brink of civil war
- San Antonio mayor to Obama: Give amnesty to illegals with legal families
- NYPD disbands unit that spied on Muslims to go after ‘real bad guys’
- Donald Rumsfeld has ‘no idea’ if he paid taxes correctly
- Bradley Manning named honorary grand marshal of San Francisco Pride parade
- Look out PayPal: Facebook working toward mobile payments system
- U.S. rebukes Iran’s U.N. envoy pick over 1979 embassy attack
- Stoned mom avoids jail after driving 12 miles with baby on roof
Carney tries on new charm offensive
After enduring two weeks of withering criticism for his shifting narrative about the IRS targeting conservative groups and the White House's involvement in changing Benghazi talking points, White House spokesman Jay Carney made an obvious effort to try to curry a little favor with the White House press corps Wednesday.
The embattled presidential spokesman known for his lawyerly — sometimes arrogant — exchanges with reporters during his daily briefings turned 48 on Wednesday so he may have decided to turn over a new leaf. Or he may just be trying to hang onto his job.
Either way, he struck a far more humble and amiable tone, at one point even acknowledging that there has been "some legitimate criticisms about how we're handling this," adding "I say legitimate, because I mean it."
"It's part of our democracy, and it's a great part of our democracy," he said, as if to welcome more vigorous debate from a press corps that has been criticized for being too conciliatory from now on.
Just the day before he had a heated exchange with a reporter that backfired terribly and was included in several reporters' stories about the ongoing IRS firestorm. Mr. Carney had become visibly annoyed with a Bloomberg reporter's detailed questions about what White House aides knew about the IRS investigation and when they knew it.
The reporter reminded Mr. Carney that he had just chided the press for not asking enough questions to bring forth more information about all of the staff at the White House who knew about the IRS investigation in late April.
"Now I'm asking specific questions, and you're accusing me of being petulant," said Bloomberg's Hans Nichols.
"No one would ever accuse you of being petulant," Mr. Carney responded sarcastically.
"Or you of being forthcoming," Mr. Nichols retorted.
But Mr. Carney had a different tone one day later.
"You're good at your jobs and you're smart," he said, while explaining that the White House press operation is not always able to predict all the questions he will take each day.
The new charm offensive also came after a series of negative profiles, along with an assault of mocking jibes on Twitter.
The questions kept coming, Wednesday, but several reporters showed some civility as well, wishing Mr. Carney a happy birthday before turning to such thorny questions as why the former IRS commissioner visited the White House more than 100 times over the course of a year.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Susan Crabtree is an award-winning investigative reporter with more than 15 years of reporting experience in Washington, D.C. Her reporting about bribery, corruption and conflict-of-interest issues on Capitol Hill has led to several FBI and ethics investigations, as well as consequences for members within their caucuses and at the ballot box. Susan can be reached at email@example.com.
- GOP senators want IG probe of Sebelius' 'Obamacare' fundraising
- Teaming up with Christie, Obama says Jersey shore 'back in business'
- No Moore: Obama flubs name of Oklahoma city devastated by tornado, calls it 'Monroe'
- Obama to Okla. tornado victims: 'We have got your back'
- Amid his own challenges, Obama calls on Navy grads to hold themselves accountable
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By returning to goodness, the nation can achieve greatness once again
- Fuel-filled wings, ability to swarm: Pentagon offers glimpse at future of drone fleet
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
- CARSON: Recovering Tocqueville's vision of American exceptionalism
- HURT: Wilson and Obama ... 100 years apart, but so alike
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- U.S. military on high alert as Ukraine troops trade gunfire with pro-Russian militants
- GOP writes legislation to deny Attorney General Eric Holder his salary
- WEBER: Obamacare cuts home healthcare for millions of seniors
- HHS nominee Sylvia Burwell entangled in MetLife lawsuit
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes