Some members of the White House Press Corps, who have largely given President Obama favorable coverage during his nearly three years in office, are bristling at the communications that press secretary Jay Carney and his staff are sending them.
According to The Washington Post some of the emails from the press office are dubbed “nastygrams” and show just how little tolerance the White House has for criticism from a press that they feel should roll over and play dead for the administration’s policies.
In one email White House press secretary Jay Carney called veteran reporter Julie Mason’s stories “partisan, inflammatory and tendentious.” She also received an email from National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor, who reacted to comments that Mason made on television. The email insinuated that she was whining by including an animated picture of a crying mime.
Mason wasn’t the only target of the White House’s vitriol. CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson has repeatedly gotten under the administration’s skin with her reporting on the government’s “Operation Fast and Furious” gun-tracking program. In October Attkisson complained that she was yelled at by a Justice Department spokesperson while trying to get clarification on the case and later was “screamed” at and “cussed” out by White House spokesman Eric Schultz.
She only made things worse by going on the conservative Laura Ingraham Show and detailing the conversations to Ingraham’s millions of listeners.
Carney, for his part, dismisses the charges against his office by saying that their interactions with reporters are as “professional” and businesslike as those of his predecessors, and are often better than some of them, according to the Post.
He also said that profanity comes with the territory and that the criticism “is pretty thin.”
The only thing that is thin is the skin of Carney and his staff who are being forced to defend the administration’s increasing failures and have resorted to bullying and profanity laced emails in a failed attempt to cow the media into toeing the line.
Thanks to Carney the White House is starting to lose the media. If they can’t count on the media during the next election cycle like they were able to in 2008, they may be in for an even tougher fight next year than they thought.