Watch the video at the end of this story… This is absolutely breath taking, the way a car wreck is, sometime. On Thursday, White House Press Secretary James Carney was asked by a reporter which of the following two cities is recognized by the U.S. as the official capital of Israel: Jerusalem or Tel-Aviv.
What ensued was, possibly, the longest minute in the life of James “Jay” Carney. “I haven’t had that question in awhile,” he said, “Our position has not changed, you know our position,” and was desperately trying to move to the next question.
But the reporter said she didn’t know the answer, which Carney ignored and was about to tap the next reporter in the room, in fact, he was so close to freedom, his face turned away from the pesky questioner, when Lester Kinsolving, bless his angry heart, of the conservative website WND.com, yelled out: “She doesn’t know, that’s why she asked.”
There’s an index page where the White House press office uploads transcripts of each news briefing, even, as you’ll see, when those take place in mid air. Go there frequently to check for the Thursday, July 26 transcript, because so far it ain’t been uploaded yet.
Man, I would have given a lot to be there, but through the magic of video (published by Alex Ryan) – there it is!
Update, Friday afternoon:
The briefing transcript has been uploaded, at last, with a special, italicized intro which, by itself, explains the delay. The Press Office knew that America’s news junkies were going to leap at the document as soon as it came out, and so they had to prepare a statement in response to the embarrassing incident. So, here’s what at the top of the Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, 7/26/12:
See below for a follow up to a question (marked with an asterisk) posed in the briefing.
*The status of Jerusalem is an issue that should be resolved in final status negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. We continue to work with the parties to resolve this issue and others in a way that is just and fair, and respects the rights and aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians.
In other words, they are capable of uttering the word “Jerusalem,” but cannot use it in a sentence that isn’t in officialese.