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Is Obama’s Press Secretary a “paid liar”? (part II)

Yesterday, Dan asked the question, feeling perhaps that Rep. Issa had over-stepped in saying it. Dan’s question focused on the IRS scandal, but I think the question is broader than that.

In general, if Carney gets remuneration for saying things which are either untrue or at least very misleading (if technically true), and if Carney knows or strongly suspects that they’re untrue/misleading at the time he says them, the question’s answer must be: Yes.

From the comments, mixitup directed us to this video at The Blaze:

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At 1:12, Carney says of Benghazi:

These protests were in reaction to a video… We don’t know otherwise. We had no information to suggest that it was a pre-planned attack. The unrest we’ve seen around the region has been in reaction to a video that many Muslims find offensive.

We know that Carney was speaking, at that point, from briefings or talking points which the White House [and State Department – ed. later addition] had intensively massaged to disguise the truth.

For this example, the question becomes: How much of a chance is there that Carney didn’t know that the talking points had been intensively massaged; that there was, in fact, contrary information to strongly suggest an attack; and that Carney was, therefore, misleading America as he spoke?

The White House handed Carney a pile of baloney and said “This is what you’re going to speak from.” Fine. But Carney is part of the White House. Did Carney know (or rationally suspect) at the time that he had been handed total baloney?



  1. In my opinion, if he did not know then he certainly knows by now and since he hasn’t resigned over it we now know what kind of “man” he is.

    Comment by Richard Bell — June 4, 2013 @ 1:44 pm - June 4, 2013

  2. I’d say that Issa probably shouldn’t have said it (even if it’s true), but Democrats dare not make too much of it, lest it get a lot of people thinking about the question of whether or not Carney is a liar. Democrats are better off if everyone ignores the existence of Carney press conferences. So, the more I think about it, the smarter Issa’s comment sounds.

    Comment by Chad — June 4, 2013 @ 1:49 pm - June 4, 2013

  3. Is Carney the issue or is Issa? Does any of this matter? Carney is paid to deflect, spin, repeat talking points, etc. This is, basically, what all press secretaries do. That Carney works within (not for — I don’t buy that he’s merely a mouthpiece) an administration that has to be dishonest in order to exist means he has to mislead more than other press secretaries but this is hardly surprising. Whether he knew the video wasn’t the cause of the terrorist attack on the US consulate is anyone’s guess. I assume he did and played the game he’s paid to play. So what now — put a his picture on the wall and throw darts at it?

    Comment by Ignatius — June 4, 2013 @ 1:59 pm - June 4, 2013

  4. 33 – “So what now — put a his picture on the wall and throw darts at it?”

    It would be really great if the press didn’t show up for his daily appearances any longer.

    Comment by Richard Bell — June 4, 2013 @ 2:07 pm - June 4, 2013

  5. I am still trying to figure out the administration’s “We didn’t have time to mount a rescue attempt,” excuse for letting the people in Benghazi die. How could they have known how long the attack was going to last?

    Comment by V the K — June 4, 2013 @ 2:11 pm - June 4, 2013

  6. To say the least, his integrity has been grossly undermined by serving for this White House.

    Comment by SC.Swampfox — June 4, 2013 @ 3:06 pm - June 4, 2013

  7. I have to agree with Charles Krauthammer – Carney is a liar but he is severely underpaid.

    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — June 4, 2013 @ 3:10 pm - June 4, 2013

  8. These protests were in reaction to a video the Judeo-Christian ethic… We don’t know otherwise. We had no information to suggest that it was a pre-planned attack. The unrest we’ve seen around the region has been in reaction to a video the Judeo-Christian ethic that many Muslims find offensive.

    The man was delivering the cause of the death of four Americans which included the Ambassador. There were a dozen possible “causes” to proffer. The point is that the smartest people in the universe chose to float a trial balloon full of lead.

    What is the difference in the distinction if Carney was sent out there after being fed a line of crap or if he was part of the cabal? As a “trained” journalist, he ought to be experienced enough to know whether the tale is too lame to make it through the initial iteration.

    If he doesn’t, he had best get some schooling from Baghdad Bob.

    Comment by heliotrope — June 4, 2013 @ 3:27 pm - June 4, 2013

  9. Frankly, I am getting to feel a little sorry for Carney. Right now he has one of the worst jobs in the world ………… defending this administration with all its scandals. When he does retire and if he writes a tell-all-book. And, if he tells the truth, it will be an instant bestseller.

    Comment by SC.Swampfox — June 4, 2013 @ 4:03 pm - June 4, 2013

  10. Men like him will NEVER tell the truth – he has sold his soul to an ideology and is sucking from the teat of liberalism.

    There is ONLY one solution – that is to beat them at every opportunity – fair & square though.

    In “paid liar part I,” I alluded to the need for republicans to “scream from the roof tops.” This is the stuff I was referring to:

    Another republican just may be growing that proverbial “pair.”

    Comment by mixitup — June 4, 2013 @ 4:28 pm - June 4, 2013

  11. Isn’t that what press secretaries are paid to do?

    Comment by KCRob (SoCalRobert) — June 4, 2013 @ 5:42 pm - June 4, 2013

  12. I don’t know, KCR. Maybe, but I don’t take it as 100% given.

    I recall vaguely with Bush 43 that Scott McClellan later made himself out to be, in effect, a paid liar. But the other Bush 43 press secretaries didn’t, and (not to rehash ancient history, but) some of the key things that the Bush administration was *said* to have lied about, even McClellan agreed they did *not* lie about. (I think he said they got some things honestly wrong, perhaps deluded themselves a bit on some other things.) Plus, McClellan at least resigned (then wrote a book); Carney has yet to.

    Considering what a questionable figure McClellan is, I’d never thought I’d write a comment putting him in a positive light. But there you go. The Bush crew were not always the best… but the Obama crew, they keep setting new lows, lows that I’d thought were impossible.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 4, 2013 @ 5:52 pm - June 4, 2013

  13. Is Jay Carney actually Sgt Schultz from “Hogan’s Heroes”? The man famous for saying “I know nuthink!!!”

    If he tells lies that he does not know are lies, he is still a paid liar for repeating them. The difference is then that he carries only the moral stain of oblivious stupidity on his soul.

    Comment by perturbed — June 4, 2013 @ 7:14 pm - June 4, 2013

  14. Ron Ziegler was Nixon’s press secretary and during the pressure of Watergate, he held his own quite remarkably. However, he did have a knack for wooden syntax. He famously said: “This is the operative statement; the others are inoperative.” I always loved that beauty which was a classic way of not actually saying that was what I said yesterday, but this is what I say today.

    Ziegler was called before the Watergate committee numerous times and the special prosecutor was all over him looking for collusion in Watergate. But, he was never indicted and really never even smeared for anything more than being the spokesman in place as the Presidency went down.

    George H. W. Bush was chairman of the Republican National Committee during the Watergate times. He advised Ziegler to do his job as a spokesman and to let the Watergate investigation proceed without exposing his position of trust to any inferences of impropriety.

    At one point, Ziegler told the press that if his answers were sounding confused it was because their questions were confusing and the situation was confusing. I loved that. (“My mouth is moving, but I am not saying anything either of us understands.”)

    Ziegler was also the first guy I remember saying that “mistakes were made.”

    I mention Ziegler, because he handled the job in a very professional way in what was a very hostile press atmosphere.

    If one wants a model for Carney’s ideological twist and spin style of shuck and jive, the person who perfected that form of posturing was Bill Moyers acting as both Lyndon Johnson’s press secretary and deep in the weeds political hit man.

    Comment by heliotrope — June 4, 2013 @ 8:47 pm - June 4, 2013

  15. “We know that Carney was speaking, at that point, from briefings or talking points which the White House had intensively massaged to disguise the truth.”

    Huh? Is there more to Benghazi story that I have missed?

    “From start to finish, the document included the now-disproved assertion that the attacks in Benghazi were spurred by a protest over an anti-Muslim video that had originated in the U.S..
    Senior administration officials said Wednesday that the talking points were consistent with classified intelligence available at the time. They disputed Republicans’ suggestions of political interference, noting that the first draft of the talking points assembled by the CIA included a reference to demonstrations. ”

    Unless there is is more hard evidence that I missed, it appears you guys are projecting again on this one.

    Comment by mike — June 5, 2013 @ 1:22 am - June 5, 2013

  16. Let’s see…

    1. Obama and his administration stood by and did nothing while Americans were under attack for ten hours in Libya.
    2. The day after four Americans were murdered, Obama attended a lavish fundraiser in Vegas, where he partied with celebrities.
    3. For two weeks after the event, the administration peddled a story that the Benghazi attack was a “spontaneous demonstration” resulting from offense over a YouTube video; a narrative they further promoted by releasing an apology commercial in Pakistan, throwing the maker of the YouTube video in jail, and Obama going before to UN to state that it was intolerable for anyone to insult “the Prophet of Islam.”

    I don’t think I’m missing anything here. Then again, I’m not a boot-licker.

    Comment by V the K — June 5, 2013 @ 9:09 am - June 5, 2013

  17. Oh, wait, I am missing something.

    4. The woman who lied to the American people about the YouTube video gets promoted to National Security Advisor.

    Comment by V the K — June 5, 2013 @ 9:51 am - June 5, 2013

  18. Unless there is is more hard evidence that I missed, it appears you guys are projecting again on this one.

    Liberals get a kick out of accusing their opponents of what they themselves are guilty of.

    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — June 5, 2013 @ 11:09 am - June 5, 2013

  19. “We know that Carney was speaking, at that point, from briefings or talking points which the White House had intensively massaged to disguise the truth.” [ILC’s comment.]

    Huh? Is there more to Benghazi story that I have missed? [littlelettermike’s repost.]

    We do know that Carney went before the press and delivered and redelivered the talking points concerning Benghazi. We do know that great emphasis was placed on the (theory? fact? speculation? favorite explanation? most useful theme?) that Benghazi was a spontaneous reaction by murderous thugs upset by a YouTube video.

    Does littlelettermike not know that a great deal of evidence has come out that Ambassador Stevens and his next in command described the “event” as an assault and attack on the Benghazi facility and gave no indication that it was a spontaneous demonstration rather than a full assault? Does littlelettermike not know that these were the words coming in the midst of the event to Washington? Does littlelettermike not know that these were the eyes and ears on the scene and that no evidence whatsoever has surfaced to this very moment in time to support the “spontaneous reaction by murderous thugs upset by a YouTube video” claim??????????

    Does littlelettermike not know that substantial evidence has come out of how thoroughly the talking points were massaged and altered and altered again and again and again until Petraeus (CIA) famously said: “Frankly, I’d just as soon not use this, then.” (Quoted here.)

    It is not much of an indication of intelligence when a commenter copies a sentence written by the author of the post and then asks a wide-open question as to why the commenter himself is ignorant.

    Hopefully, littlelettermike will take a bit more interest in getting himself up to speed rather than comment in such a vacuous way that one wonders if he was on speed when he posted.

    Comment by heliotrope — June 5, 2013 @ 11:19 am - June 5, 2013

  20. mike, OMG. Please get up to speed!

    OF COURSE “Senior administration officials…disputed Republicans’ suggestions of political interference.” That’s why there’s a dispute here. It proves nothing except that they want to dispute the obvious (that there was political interference) – and, apparently, are succeeding.

    What did you miss? Hmm. Perhaps you missed something in your own WSJ link:

    The very first set of talking points said “extremists with ties to al Qaeda” took part in the attacks.

    Which they then massaged out, with the White House making the final call:

    Or perhaps you missed Benghazi whistleblowers stating before Congress that from the beginning of the attack, it was beyond all doubt that it was an attack and they did their best to report it up the chain and get help. (Which help was denied, resulting in the deaths of four Americans including an ambassador.)

    Also, to my knowledge mike, the key Benghazi emails still HAVE NOT been released. The release of emails that your link talks about was only for Sept 14 on; it actually WITHHELD the e-mails for the two most crucial days (Sept 12 and 13). If the administration has since released the Sept 12/13 emails, please let me know.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 5, 2013 @ 11:42 am - June 5, 2013

  21. heliotrope – To be fair, the State Department (Hillary’s office, not the officers on the ground) played a big role in massaging the Benghazi talking points to disguise the truth. I should have included them in what I said. (Not having it sound like just the White House.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 5, 2013 @ 11:48 am - June 5, 2013

  22. V, one more:

    5. The other woman woman who lied to the American people about the YouTube video says “What difference does it make?!” and gets promoted (we hope not!) to President in 2016.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 5, 2013 @ 12:32 pm - June 5, 2013

  23. She probably will elect Hillary. After all, she’s got electrolytes.

    Comment by V the K — June 5, 2013 @ 3:40 pm - June 5, 2013

  24. ILC,

    You may have misread my comments. The massaging of the talking points was largely the work of the State Department and it was that massaging of those talking points by State that so irritated Petraeus.

    The State Department heard from Benghazi during the crisis that it was a coordinated attack and those in Benghazi made not one inference that would open their statements to bring in the BS about a spontaneous demonstration against a YouTube video.

    Comment by heliotrope — June 5, 2013 @ 3:54 pm - June 5, 2013

  25. Yeah. And I made it sound too much like the White House, is all I’m saying.

    But I still say (and think we’d agree) the White House bears the top responsibility… they showed a remarkable lack of interest in the truth, as well as remarkable disinterest in planning for the heightened threat of the 9-11 anniversary and in saving Stevens’ life.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 5, 2013 @ 4:02 pm - June 5, 2013

  26. ILC,

    Yeah, the White House bears the top responsibility for us who respect the Presidency. Obama, however, does not see it that way.

    Obama has turned the Presidency into a back room operation in which rules don’t apply and ideology and political loyalty out trump the truth, responsibility and candor by astronomical amounts.

    Essentially, my view of the Presidency is informed by Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43 and Obama.

    What Obama has brought to the Oval Office is bizarre. His life has been shielded and he has worked sedulously to keep his background tightly contained and inaccessible. He speaks in vague platitudes and avoids specificity or detail while preserving immunity from responsibility for himself. And he is a serial liar. No one knows this man.

    The common characteristics of dictators include a unique charm, charisma and intelligence. They are self-confident, independent, self-absorbed, driven by a lust for power, vengeful, vain, and cooly remote in terms of friendships.

    Obama is a term-limited dictator. If he could overthrow that limit, he would.

    Obama has no respect for anything that underpins the existing order. He is going to do his eight years according to his own formula, not according to the tradition and scope of the Presidency or anything that preserves the traditional Presidency. He is much like a tornado which tears up the real estate and moves on leaving damage in his wake and a debris field spread near and wide. And it will all be the fault of G.W. Bush and his supplicants will nod approvingly and light some candles.

    Comment by heliotrope — June 5, 2013 @ 7:37 pm - June 5, 2013

  27. The first time I saw Jay Carney back in the mid 1990s, he was so hot. Now he’s heading downhill in the looks department, and he is a paid shill of the comrade-in-chief.

    Comment by davinci — June 5, 2013 @ 7:41 pm - June 5, 2013

  28. Have you guys read the emails? Or have you just read Right Wing Interpretations of the emails as found at Hot Air?

    This never changed, and NOBODY that I have seen challenged it:

    ““From start to finish, the document included the now-disproved assertion that the attacks in Benghazi were spurred by a protest over an anti-Muslim video that had originated in the U.S.””

    Petreaus wanted to add some info about a terrorist group, the State Dept nixed it and in the end he abdicated responsibility maybe because he didn’t feel strongly about his intel. At the end of he called it “great work.”

    Comment by mike — June 6, 2013 @ 1:01 am - June 6, 2013

  29. Ah, the sad, sad leftist technique of seizing on one small detail that’s in dispute and focusing on it obsessively as though it invalidates the larger story.

    Things are getting pretty desperate in Bootlicker Land

    Comment by V the K — June 6, 2013 @ 7:21 am - June 6, 2013

  30. Sorta comes down to, “Obama would never lie to the American people because he’s just too AWESOME!”

    Comment by V the K — June 6, 2013 @ 8:40 am - June 6, 2013

  31. littlelettermike is simply planting the talking points on Petraeus being the villain and Susan Rice being the innocent victim of nasty old Republican “hit the girl” brutality.

    littlelettermike has the assignment to divert and distract.

    General Betrayus went back to General Petraeus when he became useful to The Won. He made it all the way to director of the CIA. Whether by chance or design, The Won and minions got some good old KGB style honey-trap stuff on Petraeus and …… they sat on it until they needed it.

    The Benghazi attack was on September 11. The memos and finger pointing went back and forth immediately thereafter. The Obama mafia contained Benghazi in myriad ways to keep it from being an election issue. Even Candy Crowley was recruited to help. Petraeus was silent.

    Tuesday, November 6, Obama won reelection.

    Friday, November 9, the “news” learned of the FBI investigation of Petraeus concerning an extra-marital affair and Petraeus was compromised.

    Naturally, the Sunday talk shows on November 11 were loaded for analyzing the Presidential election. There was no time to adequately deal with the Friday news dump on Petraeus and a CIA director affair vs. Obama reelection was no match for news importance, anyway.

    Benghazi will not go away. The Congress still can not reach the survivors for their testimony. Two key Generals were not only pushed into retirement, but they too were larded with innuendoes of improprieties, but they were not brought up on charges. They were dumped and smeared. Omertà.

    Last night on O’Reilly, James Carville defended Susan Rice as pure and sneered that Petraeus was the villain. Bob Beckel and Juan Williams are peddling the Petraeus is the villain slop.

    littlelettermike is carrying the talking points here. If littlelettermike has the proof on Petraeus, he would just link to the definitive investigation done by Media Matters or Mother Jones, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, The New York Times, or MSNBC. Ooops. Even the leftist press hasn’t got the goods.

    But littlelettermike is only a functionary in the troll department and he has neither the intellect nor the goods to actually debate.

    But, somebody cares enough about this site and what is discussed here to make sure that even the slightest chance for dissension in the ranks does not go unattended.

    Comment by heliotrope — June 6, 2013 @ 9:40 am - June 6, 2013

  32. At the end of he called it “great work.”

    Did he call it “a” great work?

    Or did he say “Great work” idly, in the manner of every harried executive who has ever needed to keep the peace among squabbling incompetents? Or perhaps even sarcastically (inwardly rolling his eyes)?

    When you’re among a group of squabbling incompetents and a controversial executive says “Great work” to the group, mike – do you believe him? Really?

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 6, 2013 @ 11:11 am - June 6, 2013

  33. The talking points are a distraction. The heart of the issue is as I stated.

    1. Four Americans died while Obama did nothing.
    2. Obama partied the next day in Vegas.
    3. Susan Rice lied to the American People about how those Americans died.
    4. Obama promoted Susan Rice.

    Quibbling over the Talking Points changes none of those facts, which is why the little letter bootlicker would rather quibble over the talking points.

    Comment by V the K — June 6, 2013 @ 11:28 am - June 6, 2013

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