Is this the media equivalent of going through the looking glass? Jay Carney, Time‘s Washington bureau chief, contributor at Swampland, and regular guest on This Week (along with his wife Claire Shipman. Question: will she be allowed to cover the White House for ABC after his switch?) has announced he is departing the magazine to become Joe Biden’s communication’s director. Let the liberal media bias claims begin! Actually Carney covered the McCain campaign and was far more criticized by the left-wing chorus than the right.
Over at Politico Michael Calderone has some reactions from the Time camp. Says Joe Klein: “I didn’t even know Jay was a democrat…Really, he has great Republican sources from his days covering the Bush White House and he’s one of those guys who always seemed pretty balanced at editorial meetings when it came to evaluating the latest developments. (Which I guess is a quality you want in a communications director.)” Indeed. Time editor Rick Stengel was quick to point out that this was not a measure of print’s uncertain future. Of course if you had the choice between the Obama administration and an industry that is tanking at alarming rates, what would you do?
Interestingly the rumors circulating at Time recently were that Stengel himself might be jumping ship to work for the administration, having done so during the Bradley campaign. Stengel says he’s “not going anywhere.” The back and forth between print and politics is not a new thing, former NYT op-eder (and now On Language columnist) William Safire was a former speech-writer for Richard Nixon and Hendrick Hertzberg left the New Yorker to join the Carter administration only to return to the magazine by way of the New Republic afterward.