Snark Amendment: Republican Hack Bob Woodward Blames Obama for the Sequester
The full text of the e-mail exchange has been leaked and is available at Politico. Word for word, it is loyal to Woodward’s recitation. But its tone is toothless. Sperling closes this way: “My apologies again for raising my voice on the call with you. Feel bad about that and truly apologize.” Woodward pings back: “Gene: You do not ever have to apologize to me. You get wound up because you are making your points and you believe them.”
So much for the White House “threatening” Woodward, as the Internet would have us believe. Nor does the you-will-regret-this language look like part of a communications policy on part of the White House. It looks like a reporter and a source disagreeing on some really tedious, really important policy points.
~ Eric Wemple on Washington Post
Bob Woodward trolled us (and we got played)
Bob Woodward revealed that White House official had warned him he would “regret” saying Obama had moved the goal posts on sequestration.
Predictably, conservatives latched onto this, as it confirmed our suspicion about the Obama Administration’s “Chicago-style” of politics. A lot of mainstream journalists bought into this, too — reflexively believing anything the great Bob Woodward says.
Of course, Woodward (who was expert at trolling for publicity before the internet even existed), benefits greatly from the publicity (nothing sells books like controversy).
But today, things look different. P0litico has posted the exclusive email from Gene Sperling to Woodward. It begins, “I apologize for raising my voice in our conversation today.”
(Frightening, I know!)
~ Daily Caller
I do declare Lindsey Graham very upset that Bob Woodward will possibly win Drama Queen of the week award.— rbrown (@rbrown715) February 28, 2013
You could be sitting quietly, when all of a sudden, you realize you are threatening Bob Woodward. NO ONE IS SAFE FROM THREATENING HIM!— William K. Wolfrum (@Wolfrum) February 28, 2013
Apparently Bob Woodward didn't know that today's reporters have a different maxim: "Follow the emails" politicalwire.com/archives/2013/…— Taegan Goddard (@politicalwire) February 28, 2013
Bob Woodward is moving the goalposts on what constitutes a threat.— Matt O'Brien (@ObsoleteDogma) February 28, 2013
Does fact that BW portrayed that email as threat make anyone wonder abt any of those highly novelistic Woodward fly on wall vignettes?— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) February 28, 2013
The White House won't talk to me but the Republicans think I am a God. #CryBabyWoodward— Top Bugg (@bugg_ray) February 28, 2013
I became a nobody after W left the White House. #CryBabyWoodward— Top Bugg (@bugg_ray) February 28, 2013
Why won't the black man let me do what I want to when I want to? #CryBabyWoodward— Top Bugg (@bugg_ray) February 28, 2013
~~~~~~~~~~~~Original Post Below~~~~~~~~~~~~
From Business Insider
The Washington Post's Bob Woodward ripped into President Barack Obama on "Morning Joe" today, saying he's exhibiting a "kind of madness I haven't seen in a long time" for a decision not to deploy an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf because of budget concerns.
"Can you imagine Ronald Reagan sitting there and saying, 'Oh, by the way, I can't do this because of some budget document?'" Woodward said.
"Or George W. Bush saying, 'You know, I'm not going to invade Iraq because I can't get the aircraft carriers I need?'" Or even Bill Clinton saying, 'You know, I'm not going to attack Saddam Hussein's intelligence headquarters,' ... because of some budget document?"
. . . "Under the Constitution, the President is commander-in-chief and employs the force. And so we now have the President going out because of this piece of paper and this agreement. 'I can’t do what I need to do to protect the country,'" Woodward said.
"That’s a kind of madness that I haven't seen in a long time," he said.
CNN Transcript Wed. 2-27-2013, Woodward and Wolf Blitzer
BLITZER: It's getting pretty nasty. Take us behind the scenes a little bit. The allegations being hurled against you right now.
WOODWARD: Well, I mean...
BLITZER: You're used to this kind of stuff, but...
WOODWARD: I am.
BLITZER: ... share with our viewers what's going on between you and the White House.
WOODWARD: Well, they're -- they're not happy at all, and some people kind of, you know, said, "Look, we don't see eye to eye on this."
They never really said, though, afterwards -- they've said that this is factually wrong, and they -- and it was said to me in an e- mail by a top...
BLITZER: What was -- what was said?
WOODWARD: It was -- it was said very clearly, "You will regret doing this."
BLITZER: Who sent that e-mail to you?
WOODWARD: Well, I'm not going to say.
BLITZER: Was it a senior person at the White House?
WOODWARD: A very senior person. And just as a matter -- I mean, it makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters, "You're going to regret doing something that you believe in, and even though we don't look at it that way, you do look at it that way."
And it's, I think if Barack Obama knew that was part of the communication's strategy -- let's hope it's not a strategy, that it's a tactic that somebody's employed -- and said, look, we don't go around trying to say to reporters, "If you, in an honest way, present something we don't like, that, you know, you're going to regret this." And just -- it's Mickey Mouse.
The White House official whom Bob Woodward charged had crosssed a line by saying he would "regret" printing his version of a set of Washington negotiations was Gene Sperling, the director of the White House Economic Council, a source familiar with the exchange told BuzzFeed Wednesday.
. . . The aide "yelled at me for about a half hour," Woodward said, and then sent a follow-up email that read, in part: "You're focusing on a few specific trees that give a very wrong impression of the forest. But perhaps we will just not see eye to eye here. … I think you will regret staking out that claim."
Officials often threaten reporters that they will "regret" printing something that is untrue, but Woodward took the remark as a threat.
~ Ben Smith on Buzzfeed
Sperling wasn't even saying that Woodward would "regret" publishing whatever he planned to publish because Sperling would get him back for it later. He was saying Woodward would regret it because Woodward would be proven wrong.
~ Henry Blodget on Business Insider
Inside the Woodward Fainting Couch!
So was Sperling threatening to sic the black helicopters on Woodward and like fully take him out? The blog and twitter-hordes of the right think so. And they’re circling round Woodward tonight in a glorious defense.
The White House denies it. A White House official tells us: “Of course no threat was intended. As Mr. Woodward noted, the email from the aide was sent to apologize for voices being raised in their previous conversation. The note suggested that Mr. Woodward would regret the observation he made regarding the sequester because that observation was inaccurate, nothing more. And Mr. Woodward responded to this aide’s email in a friendly manner.”
~ Josh Marshall on Talking Points Memo
Bob Woodward is officially shaming himself trying to prove that the sequester standoff is President Obama’s fault. First he blamed Obama for the failed debt ceiling deal of July 2011, proclaiming in his incredibly biased book: “[P]residents work their will—or should work their will—on the important matters of national business. Obama has not.” How the president could have worked his will on the crackpot Tea Party GOP caucus, he doesn’t say.
. . . Now he’s claiming the president alone has the power to avert disaster by ignoring the sequester, particularly its steep defense cuts, and doing … I don’t know what.
. . . There is madness afoot here, but it’s Woodward’s.
~ Joan Walsh on Salon
JUST IN: Nixon threatens Bob Woodward through encoded Dewey Decimal note pushed up from grave at library burial site.— Todd Schnitt (@toddschnitt) February 28, 2013
Aren't there bigger scandals Bob Woodward could muckrake -- besides WH moving "goal posts" of a manufactured crisis?— Katrina vandenHeuvel (@KatrinaNation) February 28, 2013
Amazing to think that Bob Woodward stood up to the Nixon White House . . . but he's intimidated by Gene Sperling.— Michael Cohen (@speechboy71) February 28, 2013
BREAKING: House GOP to rush vote on the Violence Against Bob Woodward Act.— LOLGOP (@LOLGOP) February 28, 2013
Earth to Bob Woodward? When you become a Tea Party hero..... twitter.com/TheObamaDiary/…— TheObamaDiary.com (@TheObamaDiary) February 28, 2013
Watching the young lefty journos vs. Bob Woodward is like reading about the prophets of Baal vs. Elijah and I'm not even a Woodward fan.— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) February 28, 2013
Will Bob Woodward end up on the long list of mysterious deaths linked to Obama? nblo.gs/IKJ1v— SC Politisite(@Politisite_SC) February 28, 2013