Allahpundit at Hot Air enjoyed mocking the White House spokesman for disdaining the media's use of anonymous sources....as if the White House never delivers information anonymously. What a rookie mistake. It doesn't make him look....earnest.
The Business Insider summarized: "The White House press secretary, Josh Earnest, faced a minor media revolt at his daily press briefing Monday after he criticized a Washington Post story for its reliance on anonymous sources." They accused him of being a hypocrite, even within the day's news cycle (see video):
The week of July 13 to 19 saw increased violence between Israel and the Palestinians, an act of terror as a plane was blown out of the sky in Ukraine, and simmering tensions between Mexico and the United States over a border crisis. With that as a backdrop, the networks skipped White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest's July 14 claim that Barack Obama has "improved the tranquility of the global community."
The journalists at NBC, CBS and ABC, so far, have ignored the remark, offering no skepticism. NBC viewers wouldn't have known about the comment if they watched last week's Nightly News or Today. Yet, if they stayed up to 12:37am on July 16, they would have seen Late Night host Seth Meyers mock, "Yesterday, White House Press Secretary said that President Obama has brought tranquility to the global community. And that's good, Josh. You should always open with a joke." [See below for video of Earnest's original comment and Meyers's joke. MP3 audio here.]
It took an entire day but ABC finally reported on its own Jonathan Karl, ABC News Chief White House Correspondent, and his confrontation with White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
Karl’s battle with Earnest came on Monday, July 7, and both that evening’s World News with Diane Sawyer and Good Morning America on Tuesday, July 8 ignored the story. World News on Tuesday night finally provided a full report on the border crisis courtesy of Karl himself. [See video below.]
On Monday, July 7, Jonathan Karl, ABC’s Chief White House Correspondent, challenged White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, over whether or not the Obama Administration was deporting illegal immigrants at the rate they claim to be.
Despite the contentious back-and-forth in which the ABC reporter accused the White House of providing “disinformation” on the number of illegal children being deported, ABC's World News with Diane Sawyer ignored Karl’s questioning of Earnest on Monday night.
During Monday afternoon’s White House press briefing, recently-installed Press Secretary Josh Earnest was forced by ABC’s Jon Karl to defend the White House claims of deportation of minors at the border.
Citing an article in the Los Angeles Times which explained that under the Obama administration, contrary to White House reports, deportations of minors has actually decreased. Karl told Earnest that according the article deportation of minors is “1/5 of what it had been” and asked, “Doesn’t that show that what you are saying is disinformation?” Earnest answered by shifting blame onto, where else, the “previous president.”
As noted by Washington Post reporter David Nakamura, newly-minted Obama White House press spokesman Josh Earnest managed to anger the White House press corps right out of the gate.
While it may not seem like a big deal that press can be "testy" with a White House, consider the contrast at the beginning of the Obama Presidency in 2009. Traditionally, the White House press corps does not stand when a president enters the briefing room, a measure of respect for their colleagues operating TV cameras in the rear of the small room. However, the White House press corps was so enamored with the former community organizer, they broke protocol and many stood as Obama entered the White House press briefing room.
Soon-to-be White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest took to the podium of the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room for his last outing as deputy press secretary. He will move into the White House Press Secretary role next week as Jay Carney officially vacates the job.
If we learned anything from his “test run” today, it’s that Earnest has learned the art of White House spin from his boss. When questioned about the IRS e-mail scandal, Earnest repeatedly touted “Republican conspiracy theories” as the ruling force behind any and all questions involving the scandal.
On Monday, as Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters noted, Lisa Myers and Hannah Rappleye at NBC News reported that the Obama administration knew three years ago that "more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them." This of course directly contradicts President Obama's repeated promises that "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan."
I will get to the gambit the administration used to convince people that it wouldn't do what it originally intended to do in the runup to Obamacare's passage, a strategy which may have resulted from objections raised in a July 2009 Investor's Business Daily editorial, later in the post. But first, we have to look at tweets sent out tonight by three Obama administration officials in response to the NBC report, all of which dodge NBC's substantive point that the Obama administration knew policy terminations would occur, and claim that "the ACA" (the Affordable Care Act) is not to blame:
The role of the White House press secretary is to disseminate information to the media, and that should be an especially important function when the president and his administration are plagued by several scandals.
However, Jay Carney has only held six press conferences in the past three weeks, far fewer than usual. In addition, the press secretary only held two brief “gaggles” during presidential trips to New Jersey and New York. Could this be happening because the people in the usually compliant media are actually asking tough questions and demanding clear answers?