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Jay Carney Is Guided by Voices


On a slow news month, the Washington Post manages a profile of Jay Carney’s love a Dayton, Ohio, band.

On the walls of Jay Carney’s office: a photo of the Berlin Wall being dismantled. Snaps of his kids. His employer, President Obama, gracing the cover of his former employer, Time magazine. A tier of clocks labeled London, Baghdad, Beijing. 

And below that, a framed copy of “Bee Thousand,” Carney’s favorite album by his favorite band, Guided by Voices. Those black scribbles? Lead singer Robert Pollard’s autograph. 

 “It’s pretty awesome,” Carney says, sounding half-proud, half-exhausted. 

It’s Wednesday afternoon in the West Wing and the White House press secretary has been trundling through some of the most punishing days of his career. Benghazi and the IRS have kept Carney scrambling, and he hasn’t had much time to listen to “English Little League,” the latest album from the Ohio indie-rock band he has affectionately name-dropped in more than one news briefing.

Its lead singer “dodges the media in ways that Carney probably wishes he could. The 55-year-old frontman hasn’t given an interview since 2011, but evidence of his beer-soaked brilliance springs eternal.”

More from the piece: 

Carney, who has fronted “terrible, terrible” garage bands since his adolescence, says he always has been drawn to the idea of regular dudes making extraordinary rock-and-roll. But above all, Guided by Voices songs simply make him happy.

I have nothing against color pieces – especially ones that remind people of the humanity of names in the news and give a little attention to non-household names and talent. Perhaps, given some of his recent press conferences, the interview request was an act of mercy on the part of the Post. But it would be much easier to read if we had the sense the Washington Post was working overtime on, say, the IRS scandal.

Via Tim Graham.



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