Carney and ABC's Jonathan Karl Have at It in Briefing; Rest of Press Virtually Guaranteed to Ignore

Evidence of testiness on the Democratic side of the 17% government shutdown continues to accumulate.

Today, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney had a tense exchange with ABC's Jonathan Karl, who was apparently so taken aback by Carney's answer to another reporter that he interjected himself into the dialog — to correct Carney about what House Speaker John Boehner said earlier today about his openness to negotiating. Carney also announced that Americans won't have to wait to see how the nation's healthcare delivery system changes in 2014 to experience long times spent in waiting rooms (Patience, please; it will become clear later in the post). But first, let's get the Blaze's rundown of the Carney-Karl exchange (bolds are mine):


JAY CARNEY SNAPS AT ABC NEWS REPORTER WHO CALLED HIM OUT OVER BOEHNER COMMENTS: ‘THAT’S NOT WHAT HE SAID’

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White House Press Secretary Jay Carney snapped at another reporter on Monday, this time at ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl, who called him out over his interpretation of comments made by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

The exchange was sparked by a question from Reuters’ Mark Felsenthal. He asked: “Speaker Boehner said this weekend that there would be no increase in the debt limit without concessions from the President. Can you comment on that?”

“Contradicting a host of times when he himself said we would never default, Republican leaders in the House and Senate have long said that they would never allow us to default. Now we see the leader of the Republican Party on Capitol Hill saying he will not raise the debt ceiling if Republicans do not get what they want,” Carney said.

He went on: “That is highly reckless and irresponsible. It is astounding, really, if you think about it. On October 7, given how little time there is left, that the Speaker of the House is announcing to the world he will not allow a bill to raise the debt ceiling to pass if Republicans do not get their specific demands–”

Carney’s response prompted Karl to interrupt.

“That’s not what he’s saying, Jay, he’s saying it’s negotiable,” Karl said.

“Hey, Jon, I am having a conversation here. I’m sure you’ll represent what the Speaker is saying in a minute,” Carney snapped back.

“Very funny, but that’s not what he said,” Karl repeated, not looking amused.

I suppose this encounter will generate another round of left-directed grief at Karl, who, to his credit and unlike many of his colleagues, at least has an occasional limit as to how deep he'll allow the horse manure to get before saying something.

You can pretty much guarantee that the press will ignore Karl catching Carney's calumny. Lefty blogs are already hysterically claiming that Carney is the one who slapped down Karl.

Now to the "waiting rooms."

Charlie Spiering at the Washington Examiner reports (HT Twitchy) that Carney told his audience that the Obamacare online exchanges are introducing the wonders of virtual "waiting rooms":

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney admitted to reporters on Monday that there were still problems with the federal Obamacare website for health care exchanges.

Carney said government engineers were working on the problem, but continued to blame the high volume of online traffic for the difficulties experienced on the site.

"CMS has put up a gate at the front end of the system that places visitors in a waiting room and lets them in at a particular pace so that the surge in volume does not cause the problems that it caused in the past," Carney said during Monday's White House press briefing.

So how long are you supposed to wait in front of your computer in your virtual waiting room? Are there any good magazines available, or will there be nothing but kids' coloring books? Will there be elevator music, or something a little edgier?

So Obamacare has given us waiting rooms even before Obamacare starts delivering actual medical services. That's just perfect.

No wonder Carney is so testy.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.