I think I may have just dislocated my shoulder from cringing too hard. In what is one of the most awkward White House press briefings I’ve yet seen, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney somehow manages to say both not enough and entirely too much.
First, he was asked why the White House had not sent out a proclamation for Easter. (To put the question in context, keep in mind that the White House has sent out proclamations for the “150th Anniversary of the Unification of Italy” and “Wright Brothers Day.”)
Carney’s response was to scoff (And, you guys, this was a scoff. It wasn’t a laugh or a chortle or a giggle or a twitter or a chuckle. It was a straight-up scoff.) and relay the following:
You know, the President when to church yesterday; it was widely covered. I’m not sure if we put out a statement or not.
But he obviously personally celebrated Easter with his family and went to church to celebrate that.
I mean, honestly, why would the White House’s Press Secretary know what the White House did or did not send out? Can’t journalists ever do anything for themselves? Calm down, people! It’s just a holiday that’s celebrated by something like, what? Seventy-eight percent of Americans, including the First Family? It’s no “Wright Brothers Day.” One reporter, clearly clueless, followed up by asking, “It’s the highest Christian holiday and you don’t know if you put out a statement? Come on, Jay.”
Carney’s response? “I’m glad you’re asking these key, important questions, guys.” Because the White House Press Secretary glibly scoffing at reporters’ questions and deflecting blame shouldn’t exactly be news at this point:
The fact is, the President took his family to church in a very high profile way, to celebrate Easter. I think it was highly visible to most Americans. And he, as a devoted Christian, believes it is a very important holiday for him personally, for his family, and for Christians around the country.
Oh my God (of the New Testament)! Jay. Jay, Jay, Jaaaaaay. Jay. We really, honestly, sincerely do not think the reporter’s question was a sly, roundabout way of asking why “alleged Christian” Barack Obama intentionally neglected Easter while secretly burning a basketful of Cadbury eggs as a sacrifice to the giant Golden Calf/Donkey he keeps in the White House Red Room. And we don’t think the story here is “media attacks Obama over questions about his faith” but rather, “White House Press Secretary apparently assumes he needs to drive home the fact that our President is indeed Christian and does not hate Easter, the Easter bunny, Jesus Christ, or delicious seasonal treats like marshmallow Peeps.”
Feel free to watch the clip for yourselves, but be warned, the cringe factor is somewhere between “mom sending you a friend request on Facebook” and “falling, naked, out of a T.J. Maxx dressing room after becoming woefully entangled in the dressing room curtain.” Not that I’d know much about either one:
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