Jay Carney Steps Back into the Spotlight

More

Vice President Biden's Communications Director Jay Carney will replace Robert Gibbs as White House press secretary, the White House chief of staff revealed today.

The choice of Carney, who is married to ABC News' Claire Shipman, is an interesting one, in that he is not only a former journalist -- having been a White House reporter and Washington bureau chief for Time magazine during his 20 years there, as well as an on-air personality and analyst -- but a former magazine journalist.

In their heyday, the newsweeklies specialized in a particular sort of journalism -- big narratives and step backs -- and trained reporters to see past the moment to moment (I guess it used to be called daily) news cycle to more enduring narratives that could be told in prose both gripping enough to hold readers and accessible enough to reach millions of them. The capacity to keep sight of the larger narrative arc will be an important skill for someone going into a position where he'll have to deal with a news cycle for stories that now can sometimes be as short as 20 minutes.

That said, Carney's also been part of that new media world. He "was one of the first mainstream journalists to blog," WhoRunsGov recounts, helping move Time's Washington writers into the blogosphere fray with the creation of it's Swampland blog.

The new post will also be a major leap in intensity for Carney. No major news media outlet in America has a reporter devoted full-time to the vice president. Stories on the vice president tend to focus on his foreign trips or else consist of big-picture check-ins asking what he's up to and how he's doing in the role.

As a sign of just how low-profile Carney's post has been, a search of WhiteHouse.gov shortly after today's announcement turned up just two mentions of Carney, as compared to 674 of Robert Gibbs, and not a single photograph. Nor were there any photos of Carney in the White House Photostream on Flickr.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Garance Franke-Ruta is a former senior editor covering national politics at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In