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White House Press Secretary: Noncom Funding is Priority

New White House Press secretary Jay Carney indicated that the President puts a priority on noncommercial broadcasting funding.

Carney, in his inaugural press conference as the replacement for Robert Gibbs, said he would not speculate on the motivation of part of the President's just-released budget, which includes funding for CPB that Republicans are trying to ax.

But asked why the President supported continued funding in the midst of calls for belt-tightening, he said that the administration recognizes the need to take those belts in a notch, but that the budget was a road map to the President's priorities.

Asked whether that meant the President saw a "universal American value" in public broadcasting, given that he has not cut its funding, Carney said: "The budget represents his priorities, and I think you can read into that."

Carney is the former communications director for Vice President Joe Biden and before that was Washington Bureau Chief for Time Magazine and an ABC contributor.

Asked if, as a former journalist, he saw his role as "to promote the interests of the President, or is it primarily to provide us with unvarnished information so we can inform the public," he said it was to promote the President and his message, but also "to help the press understand what we're doing, to give the best information I can give."