Carney’s Corner: It’s the ‘principle of the matter’

Grae Stafford Freelance Photographer
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Hello, and welcome to Carney’s Corner — The Daily Caller’s effort to give White House press secretary Jay Carney a helping hand with the very difficult job of standing in front of the world’s press and trying to put a positive spin on the barrage of answers he gives at the White House briefing.

At yesterday’s White House press conference, Jay had the press corps rolling in the aisles over his response to a question about President Barack Obama’s assertion of executive privilege over Fast and Furious documents.

When asked, “In the document’s in question, is there any information that if put on the pubic record would jeopardize national security interests or embarrass the White House,” Carney, today missing his trademark “hipster” glasses, cast about with a look of disbelief.

Before he could begin to respond, though, a very audible laugh rippled across the room. Jay, ever the stoic warrior in the face of the massed ranks of the press, started to respond, but it wasn’t until he was interrupted and the question was reworded for him — including the word “principle” — that his eyes lit up, and he seized hold of the word like a drowning man to a life preserver.

“This is — thank you for phrasing it — this is entirely about principle,” he enthused, with the look of a boy whose birthday and Christmas had come at once.

Only the press corps didn’t see it like that, and the room erupted into another round of giggles.

Jay, a word of caution: If the press corps can’t contain its giggles when they ask if the White House would be embarrassed by documents it is trying to suppress, and openly laughs at you when you use the word “principle,” it might be time to start updating that LinkedIn profile.

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