Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Reporter Strategizes With Jay Carney at White House Briefing

    At the White House briefing on Monday, an unidentified reporter (pictured on right) asked Jay Carney about the payroll tax holiday, now "back on the table," and how that might impact the White House's current My2K campaign to pressure Congress into passing President Obama's version of the Bush Tax Cuts extension.  Here is the transcript (the exchange begins on the video around 40:13):
Q    Okay.  Second of all, I saw that the Obama administration has put the payroll tax cut extension back on the table in its proposal.  I know that the White House is doing these “my2K” hashtag tweets to engage the public --
MR. CARNEY:  You say that like it’s just the kids.  (Laughter.)
Q    -- but to engage the public in getting involved in the middle-class tax cut.  So why wouldn’t you change it to “my3K” now that you’re putting the payroll tax cut back in it?
MR. CARNEY:  Well, that's a very good question.  And I appreciate the contribution to our communications thinking.  (Laughter.)  The fact of the matter is we have been very clear that we believe unemployment insurance has to be extended, and we believe that all of the provisions that are expiring at the end of the year need to be part of the conversation here and part of the discussion.  And we are interested in payroll tax cut being very much part of that discussion...
Q    What about the hashtag?
MR. CARNEY:  Well, I’ll bring that up in our next communications meeting.
    The partial tongue-in-cheek nature of the exchange obscures the larger issue.  For weeks now, the Obama administration's narrative has been that if Congress would pass President Obama's tax cut extension, "it means that 98 percent of all Americans, and 97 percent of all small businesses won’t see their taxes go up a single dime." As a matter of fact, the White House has forcefully pushed the idea that the average family will save about $2,000 under the president's plan.  All the while, the expiration of the payroll tax holiday, which takes effect the same date (January 1st) as the Bush Tax Cuts expiration, has been largely ignored by the White House, along with its $1,000 tax increase on the same average Americans that the White House has targeted for its misleading My2K campaign.

    The reporter should have called out the White House and President Obama for the deception and suggested that the campaign should have more accurately been called "My1K".  Instead, she coyly suggested now that the White House is considering extending the payroll tax cut too, it should make sure to publicize that fact by switching from "My2K" to "My3K" and tout a $3,000 "savings" instead of $2,000.  The lack of interest in pointing out such a clear contradiction is astounding.  In this case, the "adversarial press" took a back seat to the "advisory press."  If the Republicans are going to hold the president accountable for this hypocrisy, they are on their own.

1 comment:

  1. This is not an adversarial press -- that only shows up when progressive policy or candidates need defending. But it is not an incurious press. As your post makes plain, the press takes an interest in what it shills. Reporter X above wants to shill the best possible shill and would appreciate the WH getting on the stick and keep the shill current with developments.