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Jay Carney’s 9,486 Avoided Questions

This is a hilarious analysis by Yahoo! News of how many times in the past 444 briefings Jay Carney has dodged a question:

Jay Carney doesn’t have an answer for that. He hasn’t discussed that subject with the president. He will refer you to the Department of [insert agency here]. He refuses to speculate on that. He’ll have to get back to you.

But he appreciates the question.

A Yahoo News analysis of the 444 briefings that Carney has held since becoming White House press secretary has identified 13 distinct strains in the way he dodges a reporter’s question. Since Carney held his first daily briefing with reporters in the White House Brady Press Briefing Room on Feb. 16, 2011, for example, he’s used some variation of “I don’t have the answer” more than 1,900 times. In 1,383 cases he referred a question to someone else. But will he at least speculate on hypotheticals? No. In fact, he has refused to do so 525 times.

In the following interactive, you can browse all 9,486 of Carney’s most-used responses and verbal crutches.

The main function of a White House press secretary is to shape messaging for the administration, which often requires stymieing questions as a form of damage control. The referral to another agency or person is one of Carney’s favorite evasive maneuvers. Over the course of the 43-minute briefingon Jan. 25 alone, for example, Carney referred reporters to the Justice Department four times, the National Labor Relations Board twice, the State Department twice, once to the historic precedent of recess appointments, once to a New York Times article, once to a speech that President Barack Obama delivered earlier in the week, and once to the Defense Department.

The rest here.   

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