Now that he’s no longer the White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney has a lot to say about the job.
Last night he was on David Letterman reflecting on the relationship between himself and the press pool, one that’s not always so congenial. One need only go back to footage of a few Q&As between Carney and members of the press to see that there was, as Letterman put it, a “rub” between the person behind the podium and the journalists in the audience.
Having covered politics prior to his appointment to the White House, Carney was aware of this “adversarial” relationship. And though there were a couple of times where we cringed as we watched him try to navigate the aggressive questions that were being tossed at him, in the Letterman interview, he talks about the experience almost (almost) in positive terms.
“As a democracy, we would be rightfully concerned if there wasn’t that tension,” he says at one point. “If the White House press corps was just happy with what they got every day and they weren’t working to get more, they wouldn’t be doing their jobs.”
That’s a lesson that a lot of publicists should remember.