Carney ‘surprised’ by Washington Post sale

{mosads}“I was surprised, as a lot of people were, by the news,” Carney told reporters on Tuesday. “I certainly wish the institution of The Washington Post, with its storied history, and everyone who works there in pursuit of quality journalism all the best with this transition.”

Carney spent nearly two decades as a reporter, most recently as Time magazine’s Washington bureau chief.

On Tuesday, the Post announced that Jeff Bezos, the founder of, had purchased the outlet. The deal ends the Graham family’s four-generation ownership of one of the nation’s most prominent newspapers and left Washington stunned.

Obama weighed in on the state of journalism in an Amazon Kindle interview published last week, noting the difficulties journalists face in the new media atmosphere and declaring that the “old times aren’t coming back.”

“It used to be there were local newspapers everywhere,” Obama said. “If you wanted to be a journalist, you could really make a good living working for your hometown paper. Now, you have a few newspapers that make a profit because they are national brands, and journalists are having to scramble to piece together a living, in some cases as freelancers and without the same benefits that they had in a regular job for a paper.”

The president likened the new media terrain to that of other industries that have experienced disruptive changes in recent years.

“What’s true in journalism is true in manufacturing and is true in retail,” he said. “What we have to recognize is that those old times aren’t coming back.”

The president will be on “The Tonight Show” Tuesday night.

“We are trying to communicate with Americans where they are,” Carney explained. “The viewers  of late-night shows are not necessarily readers of newspapers or wire services or necessarily the viewers of cable or broadcast news shows.”

“Some of his most substantive interviews have appeared in non-traditional settings, so you never know what you might get,” he added.


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