Bob Woodward has been criticizing the Obama Administration’s role in the upcoming government-manufactured crisis known as the sequester. Now, it seems that Woodward himself is a target.
The iconic journalist is well-known for breaking one of the biggest stories in American political history. Along with Carl Bernstein in the 1970s, Woodward investigated a burglary that ultimately led to indictments of forty government officials, as well as President Richard Nixon’s ultimate resignation. He must not have anticipated the strong backlash in the mainstream media for daring to criticize the Obama administration.
Given the latest, Woodward is doing lasting, possibly irreparable harm to his reputation on.msnbc.com/XEVXIK It’s a genuine shame
Â— Steve Benen (@stevebenen) February 28, 2013
An email exchange obtained by Politico between Woodward and White House Economic Adviser Gene Sperling, reveals that the tension was high between the two men. Sperling starts the email by apologizing for shouting at Woodward. He said, “I apologize for raising my voice in our conversation today. My bad…” and continues further in the email with the statement, “But I do truly believe you should rethink your comment about saying saying [sic] that Potus asking for revenues is moving the goal post. I know you may not believe this, but as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim.” Sperling was apologizing for “raising his voice” at Woodward over this Washington Post opinion piece, where Woodward explains that the sequester originated from the White House (which has been reluctantly acknowledged by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney). Clearly Sperling was particularly irritated over this statement found in the Opinion piece:
“So when the president asks that a substitute for the sequester include not just spending cuts but also new revenue, he is moving the goal posts.”
On CNN, Woodward explains the White House reaction to the email:
Although Woodward’s email response to Gene Sperling was cordial (as revealed by Politico), as he said in part, “You do not ever have to apologize to me. You get wound up because you are making your points and you believe them. This is all part of a serious discussion. I for one welcome a little heat; there should more given the importance,” clearly Sperling’s use of the word “regret” troubled him.
As a good rule of thumb, you can ignore for all time anyone who believes that Gene Sperling threatened Bob Woodward.
Â— Jon Lovett (@jonlovett) February 28, 2013
Woodward’s Washington Post piece was roundly attacked; and his cordial response to Sterling has already been pounced upon by the mainstream media as “proof” that Woodword was exaggerating the “threat”. Rachel Maddow from MSNBC, and numerous others, are portraying the journalist as a “has-been” who is seeking to revive his former glory. Maddow states that he didn’t “care for” the President anyway, tellingly implying that perceived dislike for Obama should equate to a journalistic attack on him. Slate Magazine has an article titled, “Woodward Goes Wingnut,” and Twitter is abuzz with media figures roundly denouncing the journalist, some collected at Politico. Would a journalist who bumped heads with the Bush White House have received the same treatment?
Journalists who dare to question or criticize President Obama’s failed policies should expect to be attacked and marginalized in the Obama-controlled mainstream media.
Image Source: AP Photo via Politico