Former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Now Working For CNN

Jay Carney

Former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney will premier as an analyst for CNN during tonight’s speech by his former boss:

Former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney will join CNN as a political commentator, the network announced Wednesday.

He will start Wednesday night as President Barack Obama makes a prime-time statement about the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Sam Feist, CNN’s Washington bureau chief said in a statement.

“Jay’s unique experience as both a journalist and a White House press secretary make him an invaluable voice for the network as we cover the final two years of the Obama Administration and look ahead to the coming campaigns,” Feist said. “We’re fortunate to have Jay on our air tonight to provide analysis and insight surrounding the President’s address to the nation.”

Carney said when he left the White House in May that he’d maintain a public presence in the media. He also signed with the Washington Speakers Bureau.

“I’m thrilled to be joining CNN at a time when there is so much happening in the nation and the world,” Carney said in a statement.

Carney joins a long line of former White House Press Secretaries making the jump to cable: Robert Gibbs joined CNBC after leaving the White House, Dana Perino is currently a host on Fox News, and George Stephanopoulos is now an ABC News anchor.

This wouldn’t be Carney’s first time as part of the Time Warner family, of course. He worked at Time before becoming Joe Biden’s Press Secretary. At the time, James Joyner noted that there was some concern about the idea of a supposedly objective journalist taking on a blatantly political role:

One certainly understands the desire to move on to new challenges and becoming a senior aide to the vice president — even one who vows to curtail the office’s responsibility — is a big deal.  Still, Carney is a reporter, not an editorial writer (although he has done some punditry on the various talking heads shows over the years).   Doesn’t he throw away any pretense of objectivity by becoming a flack for Biden?

Now that he’s back in the journalism business, I’m sure Carney will be completely objective in his assessment of the guy he was working for until just a few months ago. 

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. gVOR08 says:

    Why pick on Carney? The objectivity boat sailed long ago. FOX News is almost twenty years old. Or is it just that Carney may be biased toward Dems, but IOKIYAR?

  2. C. Clavin says:

    I’m sure Carney will be completely objective

    Whether or not his objectivity matters will depend on the roll he plays.
    I expect Christiane Amanpour to be objective.
    I don’t expect Newt Gingrich to be.
    More importantly…a sufferer of acute ODS shouldn’t be denigrating any one else’s lack of objectivity.

  3. Lyle says:

    What happened? Pinocchio was turned by Google?

  4. Neil Hudelson says:

    Eh, he’s being labeled by the network as a “political commentator.” I dont’ think that title comes with an expectation of neutrality. Now if he was an official correspondent for a certain topic, I would question whether he could do it in a nonbiased way.

  5. Pinky says:

    @Neil Hudelson: If that distinction sticks, you have a point. But NBC quickly transitioned George Stephanopoulos from commentator to “journalist”.

  6. Neil Hudelson says:


    Fair enough. I honestly don’t watch any TV news, so I’m really not familiar with GS’s style. Theoretically if he was reporting on, say, Kazakhastani energy markets, I would still give him the benefit of a doubt that he is a neutral source of information. Reporting on Hillary Clinton in any fashion? Not so much.

  7. beth says:

    @Pinky: When did he work for NBC? I always remember him at ABC doing commentator work for around 5 years before they gave him the This Week position. (I’ll have to double check this – off to Wikipedia.)

  8. Pinky says:

    @beth: No need to check Wikipedia. Your memory is correct; mine is wrong.

  9. al-Ameda says:

    What, Wall Street isn’t good enough for Jay?

  10. bk says:

    “Hey, what about me???” Dana Perino *waving her hands*

  11. bill says:

    @Pinky: semantics, we all know what he is.

    @bk: she’s doing well i think, cnn is treading water last i heard.