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Is Obama’s Press Secretary a “paid liar”?
(or does he just not know the truth about the IRS scandal)

I tend to admire House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa. He is a smart and (normally) savvy California Republican determined to oversee the executive branch. Yet, he went too far in calling White House Press Secretary Jay Carney a “paid liar“.* A political leaders should be more circumspect in his public statements.  Not just that, with the accusation, he gives Democrats another means to attempt to discredit his investigations.

And as we know, they will use whatever means they can to attack their Republican critics.

But, the question which I put to you, my readers, is this: Is Issa Right? Is the president’s Press Secretary a liar?

Is he just making things up?  Or is he repeating things his White House superiors told him to be true, but aren’t?  (That is, is someone a liar if he says something he believes to be true, but is, in fact, not?**)

*He should have not have spoken those two words and said instead (based on the remainder of his remarks) “he seems to be making up things about what happen[ed] and calling this local rogue” and then added, “he doesn’t seem to know what’s going on.”

**Say, for example, a father jokingly tells his superhero fan son that he once worked for Stark Industries, but the boy doesn’t realize his Dad was joking, so he goes to school and tells all his friends that his Dad used to work with Tony Stark.  Is the kid a liar?

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24 Comments

  1. Issa was maybe wrong to say it, but I think it’s still true. To be fair though, I don’t think one could succeed as Obama’s press sec except as a liar. He’s basically our version of Baghdad Bob.

    Comment by Chad — June 3, 2013 @ 12:27 pm - June 3, 2013

  2. You mean that Presidential spokesmen aren’t paid to lie? The phrasing was bad, but I’ve never thought that spokesmen for the White House were the source of pure truth in Washington. Carney, however, I think is being hung out to dry, and not being informed properly so he can have at least the minimum amount of truth in his statements. Of course, he doesn’t start from a high level of esteem.

    As an aside, the French word for a spokesman is portparole (“word carrier”). I think that shading is more apt. He says what he is told to.

    Comment by Arkelk — June 3, 2013 @ 12:31 pm - June 3, 2013

  3. I really went out of my way to avoid watching anything political until about March 2010. Since then, I have seen clips of Mr. Carney on TV a couple of times a week for three years now. Every time he steps in front of that camera, his soul looks a little blacker, and his eyes just a little more dead. The cumulative effect is chilling.

    I do not envy that man’s job.

    Comment by Sathar — June 3, 2013 @ 12:44 pm - June 3, 2013

  4. I tend to cut Carney and his predecessor Gibbs some slack in this area for the following reason.

    Obama already is on record as believing he’s a better speech writer than his speech writers, a better policy wonk than his policy wonks, a better staffer than his staff, and so on. Accordingly, every word Carney utters, every paraphrase Carney makes, has been previously and explicitly vetted and approved, if not outright written, by his boss Obama.

    It may be Carney’s lips that are moving, but it’s Obama doing the talking. The lies are Obama’s.

    Eric Hines

    Comment by E Hines — June 3, 2013 @ 1:05 pm - June 3, 2013

  5. Lying is a matter of “intent to mislead”. One can say false things that are not lies (because one believed them truly and with good reason), and one can say true things that are lies (because one’s intent is to “spin” or give a false impression).

    There is no doubt that Jay Carney has, on many occasions, said technically-true things with the intent of helping the Obama administration to mislead and deceive the American people. Which makes Carney a liar. But as others point out, he is just doing the job for which he is paid. And so we arrive at Carney being a “paid liar”. Yes, it’s true.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 3, 2013 @ 1:36 pm - June 3, 2013

  6. The difference I see here is, yes Carney is repeating lies, but he’s doing so only by reciting the script handed to him by his boss.

    An honorable man certainly would resign rather than doing this, but this is a man who voluntarily works for Obama. There’s a lot of overlap between lying and being dishonorable, but they’re not synonymous.

    Eric Hines

    Comment by E Hines — June 3, 2013 @ 1:42 pm - June 3, 2013

  7. ILoveCapitalism, I agree with what you say, but it best to remain silent and let your political enemy hang himself. Don’t give help him make some trumped up charge against you. Issa could have just said that, “I don’t believe that Mr. Carney is telling the truth, and Mr. Carney knows the truth.” But he went for the jugular vein.

    Comment by SC.Swampfox — June 3, 2013 @ 3:06 pm - June 3, 2013

  8. Carney is paid to spin, obfuscate, shift the topic, dress up, shade, shape, varnish and fudge the subject at hand if said subject contains some aspects possibly damaging to The Won and his merry band.

    No matter how thick or thin you slice this process of making baloney, it not how the truth is told. Consequently, using ILC’s standard of “intent to mislead” it makes Carney a paid liar.

    He lies by omission. He lies by misdirection. He lies by trickery. He lies by design. He gets paid to do it. But, perhaps Obama will discover it and become disgusted and promise that it never happens again.

    Luckily, the press is mostly not up to speed on bias, slanting, misdirection and other techniques and consequently have not recognized the fact that Carney engages in the practice.

    Carney has told us that the IRS Inspector General has not found that the White House was connected to the IRS scandals. And right he is. It should also be noted that the Inspector General’s “audit” did not study that aspect of the scandal.

    Comment by heliotrope — June 3, 2013 @ 3:08 pm - June 3, 2013

  9. Carney is paid to spin, obfuscate, shift the topic, dress up, shade, shape, varnish and fudge the subject at hand if said subject contains some aspects possibly damaging to The Won and his merry band.

    No matter how thick or thin you slice this process of making baloney, it not how the truth is told. Consequently, using ILC’s standard of “intent to mislead” it makes Carney a paid liar.

    He lies by omission. He lies by misdirection. He lies by trickery. He lies by design. He gets paid to do it. But, perhaps Obama will discover it and become disgusted and promise that it never happens again.

    Luckily, the press is mostly not up to speed on bias, slanting, misdirection and other techniques and consequently have not recognized the fact that Carney engages in the practice.

    Carney has told us that the IRS Inspector General has not found that the White House was connected to the IRS scandals. And right he is. It should also be noted that the Inspector General’s “audit” did not study that aspect of the scandal.

    Comment by heliotrope — June 3, 2013 @ 3:08 pm - June 3, 2013

  10. OMG, damn right he is a paid liar! I have a hard time thinking otherwise. Heliotrope has aptly fleshed out and described his (he should spell his name Carny) lying actions and methodology – no need to add more. He darn well sits in on the strategy meetings with Obama, Axelrod, Michelle, Valerie and other insiders to plan out and discuss the spin. lies and obfuscation. Not every meeting, but many meetings. Do I have proof – NO! But, having spent 41 years in corporate America and private industry, being around top level decision makers, Carney is knee deep in the planning. To believe otherwise is naïve.

    As for Issa, I will respectfully disagree with Dan. For years, dating back to Bush, many of us conservatives have complained about republicans not giving the $hit back. Republicans are blamed and castigated for bringing “a knife to a gun fight.” So finally, a republican calls a “rose a rose,” and we chastise him. No! Rather, we egg him and other republicans on to grow a pair and fight back. I for one am sick of this “my esteemed colleague from Illinois” crap. Democrats are not your friend, you can’t make nice with them, you can’t reason with them, and you damn sure can’t let them run this country.

    The being nice and proper days are over. I don’t know how long you all think we can live with democrat rule. ILC has very aptly chronicled the economic side to the democrat disaster. And, he hasn’t even plugged in the pending obamacare nightmare. Calling Carney a “paid liar” is nothing compared to what republicans should be screaming from the roof tops to bring to a quick end this democratic party rule.

    Sorry if I have offended anyone, but we have a real serious problem, and it isn’t using harsh words.

    Comment by mixitup — June 3, 2013 @ 4:13 pm - June 3, 2013

  11. What lie is he being accused of?

    Comment by mike — June 3, 2013 @ 11:14 pm - June 3, 2013

  12. Watch the video mike – pay special attention to the Carney portion and compare to sworn testimony – THAT is the textbook definition of a LIE!!

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/06/03/exposing-the-lies-revealing-video-captures-obama-the-left-in-their-own-words/

    Comment by mixitup — June 4, 2013 @ 7:04 am - June 4, 2013

  13. It’s technically true that Jay Carney is a paid liar; in the sense that he receives remuneration in return for saying things that are not true.

    But it is impolitic to state this simple fact.

    What I think I hate more than anything else about politics is that it’s “politically incorrect” to state things that are obviously true.

    Comment by V the K — June 4, 2013 @ 8:22 am - June 4, 2013

  14. Since nearly forever, I have scratched my head over why the news media enshrines their White House press people as if they are some sort of critical channel between the President and We the People.

    Helen Thomas was the ultimate White House correspondent. She was old, nearly useless and worked for My Weak Comprehension or The Barnyard Ambassador or Nose Pickers Advocate or even nobody. But she was there, front and center.

    What is stranger than a bunch of “reporters” sitting in a special room and being recorded as they watch the Carney Show and a few of them get to submit entreaties for clarification of the obfuscation and spin they are being fed? Well, there is one thing stranger: riding for endless weeks on a press plane and listening to the same boilerplate over and over again.

    Lemmings. That is what they are.

    Meanwhile, real reporters are off screen and tromping around the swamps and piecing the actual puzzle together.

    Obama has no soul. He sees the job of the Presidential Spokesman to be that of a mushroom: keep him in the dark and feed him a lot of sh*t. Carney, on the other hand, is either in for the game or he isn’t. That is to say that he places the spin and the deflection well above the truth, because his only other option is to quit.

    Comment by heliotrope — June 4, 2013 @ 9:21 am - June 4, 2013

  15. Without a doubt, he is. That´s why in his bireffings he has moments of stammering, stuttering, and walking back his comments. If he had any integrity, he´d resign and let somebody else carry the water for his team.

    Comment by Roberto — June 4, 2013 @ 11:55 am - June 4, 2013

  16. I’m curious why calling Carney a paid liar is such an insult.

    No one said he cheated on his taxes.

    No one called him a terrorist.

    No one demanded the IRS bring the entire weight of their office down on him.

    No one accused him of giving a man’s wife cancer.

    No one called him evil for being rich.

    All these are things Dems have gleefully done to Repubs in the past few years. Where was the (fabricated) outrage then? Where was President Civility?

    It’s high time to figuratively punch these cowards in the face. Maybe a few (again, figurative) broken noses or missing teeth will teach them either to treat the opposition as THEY wish to be treated, or it will encourage them to whine more, like any bully who gets shoved back.

    And ANYONE who defends Carney, who also sat by while Dems lied about Romney, the Tea Party, or Repubs in general can just muzzle it.

    So, so sick of this juvenile Administration and the Whiner-in-Chief.

    Comment by acethepug — June 4, 2013 @ 12:19 pm - June 4, 2013

  17. […] Is Obama’s Press Secretary a “paid liar”?(or does he just not know the truth about… […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Is Obama’s Press Secretary a “paid liar”? (part II) — June 4, 2013 @ 1:12 pm - June 4, 2013

  18. BTW, one of the Washington Post’s many village idiots, Ezra Klein calls President Mugabe a liar, but says it’s okay because everyone should have known he was lying when he claimed Obamacare would reduce insurance premiums.

    So, is it okay for leftist idiot Ezra Klein to call the president a liar? Does his rational that it’s okay to lie if everyone knows you’re lying exonorate Jay Carney?

    Comment by V the K — June 4, 2013 @ 1:31 pm - June 4, 2013

  19. V the K @13–

    That reminds me of one of my favorite maxims:

    “Political correctness is the belief that it’s entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

    Comment by Bastiat Fan — June 4, 2013 @ 9:44 pm - June 4, 2013

  20. # 18 V –
    I don’t think you read your link. It debunks the republican claim that health care premiums will rise by 146% under the affordable health care act

    From your link:

    ““We as a society have never really said here’s what reasonable insurance is,” says Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation. “It’s just been anything goes. For the first time they’re setting a minimum about what reasonable insurance should be.” They’re also setting a minimum about who should be able to get it, and at what cost. Now it really will work like Best Buy, where the price on the tag is the price everyone actually pays.

    Some people will find the new rules make insurance more expensive. That’s in part because their health insurance was made cheap by turning away sick people. The new rules also won’t allow for as much discrimination based on age or gender. The flip side of that, of course, is that many will suddenly find their health insurance is much cheaper, or they will find that, for the first time, they’re not turned away when they try to buy health insurance.

    That’s why the law is expected to insure almost 25 million people in the first decade: It makes health insurance affordable and accessible to millions who couldn’t get it before. To judge it from a baseline that leaves them out — a baseline that asks only what the wealthy and healthy will pay and ignores the benefits to the poor, the sick, the old, and women — well, that is a bit shocking.”

    Comment by mike — June 5, 2013 @ 6:55 am - June 5, 2013

  21. mixitup –

    The country I live in blocks basically all web video and my VPN is not working. So I can’t see it. But…Glen Beck is hardly an impartial source for anything…

    Comment by mike — June 5, 2013 @ 6:57 am - June 5, 2013

  22. mike you can be such an a$$. It’s the video you fool, not the source of the story. The video is of a Carney press briefing – Glen Beck didn’t make up the ON AIR statements by Carney. The Carney comments are not taken out of context either. What a horses a$$ you are.

    Sad thing is you knew damn well the video is the key, NOT Glen Beck!!!

    Comment by mixitup — June 5, 2013 @ 7:11 am - June 5, 2013

  23. I love it when a leftie-at-heart steps in to say “Glen Beck!” rather than deal with CARNEY’S ACTUAL WORDS ON VIDEO.

    As if the fact that it’s linked from Beck’s site gives it cooties. 🙂

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 5, 2013 @ 1:09 pm - June 5, 2013

  24. The point of a press secretary is to spin for the administration–to present the administration in the best possible light–so it’s right there in it’s definition. There’s nothing interesting or negative about the phrase, any more than there is about the phrase “press secretary.” It’s only in the connotation.

    Comment by Mitch — June 7, 2013 @ 1:51 am - June 7, 2013

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