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Time magazine’s Jay Carney, who said over the summer that Joseph R. Biden Jr. is “incredibly prone to say the wrong thing,” will soon be in charge of ensuring that doesn’t happen again. Carney, the magazine’s Washington bureau chief, has agreed to become the vice president-elect’s director of communications, an Obama transition aide said yesterday. The magazine announced that he was leaving for “a new challenge,” but Carney declined to comment on the new job.
In July, before Barack Obama picked the senator from Delaware as his running mate, Carney said on MSNBC that “Biden may be the answer” because of his foreign policy credentials. The “downside,” Carney said, is that Biden has said the wrong thing “throughout his career. . . . He’s smart, but he speaks — shoots from the hip and sometimes says just wrong thing at the wrong time.”
In September, Carney got into an on-air spat with Nicolle Wallace, Republican candidate John McCain’s communications director, over the lack of access to Biden’s counterpart, Sarah Palin. After Wallace said the Alaska governor did not necessarily have to take questions from Time or other media outlets, Carney wrote that “in her smug dismissal of the media’s role in asking questions of the candidates, Wallace was really showing contempt not for reporters, but for voters.”
As Gawker noted, “Sure, Bush had Fox news yakker Tony Snow as his press secretary, but Tony Snow was an out-and-out smiling conservative asshole even before he got to the White House. All this time America trusted Jay Carney to give them the real unbiased news on the campaign, right there in the trusted pages of Time, an it turns out he was privately on Biden’s team the entire time! Will America ever trust the media again?”
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”