Jay Carney Leaves Time for Joe Biden
Jay Carney, Washington bureau chief for Time magazine since 2005, is leaving the magazine to become Joe Biden’s communications director. Mark Halperin broke the news with a one-liner but The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room has the closest thing to a detailed report:
Time magazine Washington Bureau Chief Jay Carney has left that position, reportedly to become Vice President-elect Joe Biden’s communications director. Carney will become an assistant to Biden in the White House, and will serve as the vice president’s communications director, Time’s own Mark Halperin reported Monday.
Spokeswomen for Biden did not immediately return an email seeking confirmation of the report.
Carney had been the magazine’s D.C. bureau head since 2005, and had been on board Air Force One with President Bush on 9/11. He is married to ABC News senior national correspondent Claire Shipman.
Rich Stengel, Time’s managing editor, has high praise:
After twenty extraordinary years at TIME, Jay Carney is moving on to a new challenge. Jay has been pretty much everywhere for us. He started as Miami bureau chief and then became a correspondent in Moscow before landing in Washington and eventually becoming bureau chief. He was in Havana when Mikhail Gorbachev first visited in 1989; he was on the first plane of journalists into Panama for the U.S. invasion that same year; in 1991, he was at the television tower in Vilnius, Lithuania, when Soviet tanks rolled in, and in Red Square when they rolled again during the failed coup that led to the Soviet UnionÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s demise. On 9/11, he was aboard Air Force One with President Bush. He had two stints covering the White House and excelled in his coverage of the McCain 2000 campaign and of the Clinton impeachment. As a reporter and as bureau chief, he always fought for fairness and balance in our coverage whether it was of the left or the right. He is a superb journalist, an exemplary bureau chief and he also happens to be one of the pleasantest and most decent guys in our business. We wish him well in his new endeavors, which we will hear about shortly.
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?
Further, his wife is a major political reporter for ABC News who frequently substitutes as anchor. Are her duties going to be curtailed or are they going to pretend that she doesn’t have a conflict of interest?