Jay Carney: Jon Stewart was Obama’s Toughest 2012 Interview

Ouch. Now, I’m actually a fan of Jon Stewart (I am part of his target audience after all), but Jay Carney’s seemingly offhand comment that Obama’s toughest interview of 2012 was on the Daily Show—that is just shameful. Every reporter and journalist from the traditional mainstream news should just be crying right now. How absolutely pathetic is that?

I don’t even know where to begin. Part of the problem here is that interviewers from traditional news regularly softball Obama. They are and have been so enamored with him that they refuse to ask tough questions in any kind of a dogged manner. But the other problem is that the Obama administration controls interviews more precisely and more obsessively than pretty much any administration since Tricky Dicky.

In fact, the Committee to Protect Journalists, which does almost the entirety of its work in other countries, released its first ever report on the state of American journalism in 2013. According to Democracy Now!:

 . . . [Let’s look at] the first report on press freedom in the United States ever published by the Committee to Protect Journalists, which usually advocates for press freedoms overseas—and the news isn’t good. Titled “The Obama Administration and the Press,” the report looks at the many ways President Obama has ushered in a paralyzing climate of fear for both reporters and their sources. Among the cases it details, six government employees, plus two contractors, including Edward Snowden, have faced felony criminal prosecutions since 2009 under the 1917 Espionage Act for leaking classified information to the press, compared with just three prosecutions in all previous U.S. administrations.

According to the report itself:

The Obama administration has notably used social media, videos, and its own sophisticated websites to provide the public with administration-generated information about its activities, along with considerable government data useful for consumers and businesses. However, with some exceptions, such as putting the White House visitors’ logs on the whitehouse.gov website and selected declassified documents on the new U.S. Intelligence Community website, it discloses too little of the information most needed by the press and public to hold the administration accountable for its policies and actions.

And there is no real way to get this information because, as the report states:

“This is the most closed, control freak administration I’ve ever covered,” said David E. Sanger, veteran chief Washington correspondent of The New York Times.

So it is no real surprise that Jon Stewart was Obama’s most difficult interview of 2012. Because Obama makes it almost impossible for traditional journalists to get access to him. When they do get access, their questions are manicured and massaged into harmlessness, or just brick-walled “for security reasons.” Obama’s preferred means of communication is through “entertainment news.” He probably thought Jon Stewart would be a walk in the park. He likely wasn’t prepared for the fact that Jon Stewart actually has a brain, a healthy grasp of reality, a quick wit, and a no-holds-barred kind of tenacity that makes him a good interviewer.

But honestly, this is pathetic. Are you hearing this, journalists? Jay Carney basically said you guys are a bunch of clowns. So take off the rose-colored glasses. Put down your cup of kool-aid. And actually do your job.

18 responses

  1. Controls interviews “obsessively?” What a joke. How many Republicans have come from behind the Congressional curtains to answer questions with a straight answer? How many are afraid to cast a vote because it would expose their heartlessness and cruelty towards everyone except those who are rich?

    C’mon Republicans. Tell us what you want to really do with Social Security and Medicare. Why do believe that working poor Americans don’t deserve health insurance. Tell us how you feel about women in the workplace and wanting to control their bodies without your interference. Tell us how you really feel about gays in your party. How many babies were “killed” because of Obamacare? Why are you hiding from the press??? Are you afraid???

    • Well, there was Sarah Palin who exposed herself to that inquisitor Katie Couric who stumped her with BRUTAL questions like “what news papers do you read” & “what day is it” or “who’s buried in Grant’s tomb”!

      • Cory Booker “driving to Hawaii.”
        “57 states” Obama can’t spell Ohio, or respect.
        Hank Johnson was afraid the island of Guam would tip over because of having too many troops there.
        Should we mention all the gaffes from Joe Biden?

        Why don’t you mention all the gaffes and empty-headedness from those on the left? Oh, that’s right. Because MSNBC doesn’t talk about them.

        • People make “gaffes” all the time. That’s no big deal. The obvious difference was the Couric interview was Palin’s “coming out party” & something she prepared for before she fell flat on her face!

          • The president also said he bowled like he was in the “special Olympics”
            How mindless! Certainly showed his level of maturity and heart.

      • And yet another liberal gay troll chimes in.

        the subject matter is about obama being interviewed.

        I know you cannot stay on subject, Boobee from Kalifornia.

    • The article was not written by a Republican cheerleader. He’s just as critical of the GOP as he is the Democratic party. Why do you always turn this into a “Republican vs Democrat” fight, as if there’s a dime’s worth of difference between the parties? They’re both filled to the brim with corrupt, immoral, greedy, power-hungry individuals who make a living out of grandstanding. I can’t believe that you are so naive that you can’t see that.

      • There is a “dime’s worth of difference.

        Example; Obamacare.

        Example #2; Republicans in power are either racist or they don’t speak up against it .

        Example #3; Most Democrats are against corporate welfare. Republicans want to get rid of taxes on the 1%.

        Example #4; Democrats are against privatizing Social Security. Republicans want to raid it and leave the money to Wall St. speculators.
        Example #5; Democrats want choice for women. The GOP doesn’t.
        Example #6; The extreme right doesn’t want a min. wage. Democrats and most of America want it.
        Example #7; Democrats want immigration reform and an infrastructure bill. GOP says no.

        This article IS biased. Also, the writer is lying. This article The President has been accessible – even in long news conferences. Republicans aren’t accessible and they don’t do long press conferences.

        • Your comment IS biased. It paints this rosy picture of Democrats, as if they actually care about people. They care about nothing more than getting elected and plugging in to the DC money machine, where they get lots of lobbyist contributions. They do as their controlling corporations and organizations tell them. They sponsor legislation that benefits their corporate buddies, and in return, their corporate buddies provide them whatever they want. This is pretty much how it is on both sides of the aisle. It’s just a stupid game they play, and you’re just another drooling cheerleader for Team Blue.

          • Are you for corporate welfare? If so, the Koch brothers and Sheldon Addison must love you.

          • No. It took hard work and research. It’s something lacking from some people on this site.

    • wounded, the subject matter is about obama being interviewed.

      why is it you leftist trolls cannot stay on subject. Do you suffer from ADD?

    • Working poor Americans don’t deserve health insurance?

      Let’s see. The administration was telling us that 30 million people needed health insurance. Sob stories about the “working poor” and such. They were all supposed to be covered by the time 2014 began. So now we are celebrating that 8 million are signed up. Simple math shows us that leaves another 22 million to go. Funny how the administration isn’t whining about them. But that wasn’t really their goal anyway, just the sob story to get the thoughtless to bite.

      And that doesn’t include people like my friend with three young daughters, who had insurance. But the government said it wasn’t good enough, so the policy was cancelled and they signed up for Messiahcare, uh, I mean Obamacare. Oh, it is so much better. And affordable? I don’t know where to begin. Should I start with the $300 MORE per month they have to pay, or with the $10,000/year deductable. Ah the smell of hope!

      The only hope he has is of going bankrupt now.

      Sorry for taking your time. I’ll let you get back to your nice glass of Kool-Aid.

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