After only his third day on the job, Fox News senior White House correspondent Ed Henry was accused by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney of intentionally "creating" a dispute to please his new employer.
"I know you're creating a thing here for Fox," charged Carney toward the end of a testy exchange with the former CNN correspondent during Wednesday's press briefing.
As members of the White House press corps giggled off camera, Henry retorted: "That's not what I'm doing, you know better than that."
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Continuing a line of questioning he initiated on Monday – his debut in the briefing room as a Fox News correspondent – Henry pressed Carney to lay out President Barack Obama's deficit-reduction plan, noting that, unlike House Republicans and Senate Democrats, the administration has yet to submit a proposal to the Congressional Budget Office.
When Carney insisted the president's "principles" as outlined in a speech in April constituted a plan with "quite a lot of detail," Henry fired back: "That's not a plan."
For asking tough questions and expecting serious responses, Henry was accused by Carney of parroting Republican talking points.
As Glynnis MacNicol at Business Insider observed, "That the White House thinks it's already okay to attribute his totally normal badgering to the network he works for, for the second day in row, says a great deal more about how the White House views Fox than vice versa."
In response to Carney's insults, FNC anchor Greta Van Susteren wrote on "Greta Wire" yesterday that the press secretary took a "cheap shot" at Henry, according to Chris Ariens at TV Newser.
Ariens also reported that "all was calm" between Henry and Carney at the Thursday briefing.
A transcript of Ed Henry's exchange with Jay Carney during the July 27 press briefing can be found below:
ED HENRY, FNC senior White House correspondent: Jay, you just said there's not a lot of great detail the president's put out in a plan. When are you going to submit a plan to the Congressional Budget Office?
JAY CARNEY, White House press secretary: I understand – we can do this again, okay.
HENRY: No, but when are going to submit it to CBO like Boehner did and Reid did?
CARNEY: Has the Speaker of the House shown you the positions that he took in detail in the negotiations that were designed actually to achieve a compromise, as opposed to have a show vote, have a show vote?
CARNEY: Ed, we put forward a budget, we put forward a framework –
HENRY: It didn't get through.
CARNEY: – as has every measure that the Republicans have put forward, okay. Both leaders, the senior-most Republican in the land, third in line, okay, a powerful figure, with great authority, sat in a room with the President of the United States and worked out a detailed compromise. It is the nature of these kinds of difficult things that you do that in a way so that you agree on the tough choices, you come out together, and you announce them, and you begin to make the argument. A hard argument, for each person, to his party, that this is what we need to do for the sake of the country, that this is a good deal, okay.
HENRY: As Chuck said yesterday, have a senator introduce it as an actual bill. We're six days away.
CARNEY: Chuck, I mean Ed, you know, the speaker walked away from this deal.
HENRY: Right, but you got this great deal so put it out there. Let the American people see it.
CARNEY: I think I've answered the question.
HENRY: Okay, one quick thing.
CARNEY: I know you're creating a thing here for Fox.
(Laughing from the press corps)
HENRY: That's not what I'm doing, you know better than that.
--Alex Fitzsimmons is a News Analysis intern at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.