Photo Credit: Dinca Mihai
White House Press Secretary James "Jay" Carney

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.

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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.”

My hero for the day, conservative newsman Lester Kinsolving, cut Carney down a couple inches on Thursday.

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.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Wouldn’t it be something though… if like the army led by Joshua around Jericho; the Israeli army marched around Jerusalem carrying Ha-Shem’s praises with every step… I wonder what, if anything, would happen?.. ?… ?…

  2. Yes Carny displayed incompetency. However, the implication here is that the Obama administration is distancing – or changing – itself from US policy on Jerusalem. The truth is that the US does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. It never has. The US recognizes that Israel has declared Jerusalem as its capital, but sees the political situtation of Jerusalem as a final status item to be negotiated between the Palestinians (or previously the Jordanians) and Israel. Congress passed legislation calling for the US to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. However, Congress also included a provision enabling the President to vacate the legislation. Every president since the legislation was approved – Clinton, Bush, and Obama – have vacated the legislation. By the way, there are NO foreign embassies in Jerusalem. Closest is in Mevaserret Zion. All the rest are in Tel Aviv.

  3. The capital city of any nation is where its seat of government is located, and where the international diplomatic community has its embassies. Israel may wish that Jerusalem were its capital city, and may say it is, but in fact, by any rational standard, Tel Aviv holds that distinction. Just as New York City (or LA, of Chicago, or whatever) is thought by many Americans to be the heart of the USA, and not Washington DC, that wish doesn't make it so.

  4. You contradict yourself twice. First, you acknowledge that one of the determining factors is "where its seat of government is located," and almost all of Israel's govt is located in Jerusalem. Then, you point to DC being the US capital, not NY, but of course, the reason is that the US has declared DC to be its capital, not NY.

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