Jay Carney quit as White House press secretary in June and has now joined CNN, the network announced. Now instead of obfuscating on behalf of president and giving half-answers to sharp questions that demand replies he’s completely unauthorized to give, Carney will return to the media’s side of the equation. Before joining the Obama administration Jay Carney worked for Time magazine for 20 years, rising to Washington bureau chief. Leaving the media Carney worked first for Vice President Joe Biden’s team–very good practice for a communications pro–and then served as Obama’s main mouthpiece from early 2011 until his June resignation.
As a TV journalist, Carney will be expected to provide more insight into the Obama administration than he ever did as press secretary. The Obama administration has been called, even by liberal supporters, the least transparent administration in history. Carney’s replacement as White House press secretary, the wonderfully named Josh Earnest, countered in July that the administration was “absolutely” the most transparent president ever. Carney, in his CNN incarnation, should have in interesting angle on who’s right. As with all the crossovers from government to media, Carney will need to leave his loyalty behind to offer any real value to viewers.