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Woodward-Sperling Flap May Turn Tide
Townhall.com ^ | March 3, 2013 | Debra J. Saunders

Posted on 03/03/2013 5:12:49 AM PST by Kaslin

There is a rule in Politics 2013 that's evident in the flap about a White House aide's maybe threatening or not threatening Washington Post veteran reporter Bob Woodward. The rule: The more superficial the brouhaha the bigger its impact.

What public figures say is more important than what they do, because cable TV and political blogs can cover a mud fight more cheaply and more easily than they can a real story.

Quick synopsis: Woodward has reported doggedly on the White House's role in putting "sequester" cuts -- $85 billion this year -- in the 2011 Budget Control Act. Last week, as Woodward was writing that President Barack Obama was moving the goal post in negotiations on those cuts, a White House aide yelled at him on the phone for a half-hour, Woodward says. Economic adviser Gene Sperling later sent him an email to apologize for raising his voice. Sperling also wrote, "I think you will regret staking out that claim."

The White House says no threat was intended. I believe that. I also see why Woodward might perceive the exchanges as a threat -- not to harm him physically but to deny him access. Without access, Woodward cannot write best-selling books.

Why am I writing about what Ron Fournier, National Journal editor-in-chief, described as "a silly distraction to a major problem" -- Washington's failure to lead under a budget deadline? Because this could be a turning point -- the moment when the White House press corps starts pushing back.

As Fournier wrote, the Woodward flap is indicative of the "increasingly toxic relationship between media and government." Things have gotten so ugly that in the midst of the Woodward flap, Fournier put an anonymous White House source on notice that if he continued to send him emails filled with "vulgarity, abusive language" and you'll-regret-it talk, Fournier would feel free to print said missives with attribution.

It would be nice if a more substantive dispute than the White House's treatment of Woodward sparked this mild rebellion. Think Benghazi. Yet there is a substantive dispute behind the fluffy fight.

As Politico reported, the White House "has, with great success, fudged the facts. The administration has convinced a majority of the country that Republicans are more to blame by emphasizing that Republicans voted for the plan. Which they did -- after Obama conceived it."

In an October presidential debate, Obama claimed that "the sequester is not something that I've proposed. It is something that Congress has proposed. It will not happen." PolitiFact rated that claim "mostly false." Obamaland's misinformation cookie is crumbling.

By Thursday's White House news briefing, the mutual disdain between the press corps and spokesman Jay Carney bubbled over. Reporters questioned dubious administration claims about layoffs attributed to sequester cuts. Ed Henry of Fox News asked why the White House had held a closed-to-the-press swearing in for Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.

Henry also is president of the White House Correspondents' Association, so Carney used the question to crack a joke about the group's complaint about reporters' lack of access to the president during a recent golfing vacation. Keep it up, White House, and the press corps will wear your scorn as a badge of honor.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: accuracyinmedia; jaycarney; whitehousepresscorp

1 posted on 03/03/2013 5:12:59 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

2 posted on 03/03/2013 5:16:11 AM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Kaslin

Most reporters do not even know who Woodward is. They may remember the name from some class in journalism school, but nothing more.

Who cares if the White House devours him? It is right because nobody should criticize Obama.

This is what happens when socialists take control. Some of their own revolt at the horror and are the first sent to die.


3 posted on 03/03/2013 5:16:50 AM PST by Erik Latranyi (When religions have to beg the gov't for a waiver, we are already under socialism.)
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To: Kaslin

“If it bleeds, it leads!”

Time for the White House press to report and get their collective noses off this president’s coccyx. It is beginning to affect his golf swing.


4 posted on 03/03/2013 5:21:51 AM PST by urbanpovertylawcenter (where the law and poverty collide in an urban setting and sparks fly)
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To: Kaslin

Look how far we’ve come from having a press corps that exercises some degree of objectivity. It’s like the excitement a thirsting man gets when crossing a desert and he sees a mirage on the horizon.


5 posted on 03/03/2013 5:24:49 AM PST by CheneyClone
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To: Erik Latranyi
Don't mean to be contrary but I'm sure MOST reporters know exactly who Woodward is....

What they don't know is who Obama is....It's called bootlicking....or die....

6 posted on 03/03/2013 5:25:01 AM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: Kaslin

This abuse crosses party lines:

“Former Clinton aide, columnist joins Woodward in claiming White House threat”

(Lanny Davis has been a high ranking Dem for many many years and he received same treatment)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/02/28/white-house-denies-staffer-threatened-watergate-journalist-woodward/

Obozo’s minions are evil. He and they serve the father-of-lies.


7 posted on 03/03/2013 5:26:45 AM PST by Texas Fossil
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To: Erik Latranyi
Agreed. Think of the Purges of the 1930's...it was mostly the True Believer Bolsheviks who fought and bled for the Revolution for over 20 years, and were now a perceived threat to the Paranoid Stalin.

Bob Woodward is a modern-day Leon Trotsky.

8 posted on 03/03/2013 5:28:22 AM PST by MuttTheHoople (Pray for Joe Biden- Proverbs 29:9)
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To: Kaslin
As Fournier wrote, the Woodward flap is indicative of the "increasingly toxic relationship between media and government." Things have gotten so ugly...

Really? And what does that mean? No more after date "I love you" texts? No more reach arounds? Does the one stream media actually want an apology this time before they forgive him? Maybe if you gave him another Nobel he'd be nicer to you?

I've never seen such a love fest between the press and politicians as now with obama, and that's after eight unwanted years of blue dress, voter voyeurism watching Clinton getting getting done by the press corpse and debating the meaning of "is".

9 posted on 03/03/2013 5:31:46 AM PST by GBA (Here in the Matrix, life is but a dream.)
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To: urbanpovertylawcenter

Perhaps it is finally time for some serious presidential bleeding

Papers might spark a comeback if there is a presidential bleeding lead

Perhaps Obama has jumped the shark.


10 posted on 03/03/2013 5:37:25 AM PST by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 .....The fairest Deduction to be reduced is the Standard Deduction)
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To: Kaslin
Things have gotten so ugly that in the midst of the Woodward flap, Fournier put an anonymous White House source on notice that if he continued to send him emails filled with "vulgarity, abusive language" and you'll-regret-it talk, Fournier would feel free to print said missives with attribution.

He should do it anyway!

Why would he feel the need to protect the dirtbag from the taxpayers?

11 posted on 03/03/2013 5:42:27 AM PST by ROCKLOBSTER (Hey RATS! Control your murdering freaks.)
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To: urbanpovertylawcenter

LOL. Now that’s funny right there.


12 posted on 03/03/2013 5:43:15 AM PST by Vinnie
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To: bert

No, Obama has not jumped the shark.

No matter how he treats the WH press, when (if) his neck is actually on the line, the WH will make a few overtures and the press will be right back in his camp.

If a crunch time occurs, they will not abandon him. It’s all fantasy to hope that would occur. I believe that we could have a few reporters grabbed by DHS for some BS subversion charges and it wouldn’t matter.


13 posted on 03/03/2013 5:46:54 AM PST by ChildOfThe60s (If you can remember the 60s.....you weren't really there)
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To: Erik Latranyi

They most CERTAINLY know who he is.

These reporters may be jealous, but ALL of them would like to BE Woodword or Bernstein.

Cut off that chance, by denying access, and you destroy the hopes of the “little” journalists.

They will FINALLLY turn—and it’s about time!


14 posted on 03/03/2013 5:52:29 AM PST by Flintlock (Paul Revere: "The British are coming--TO TAKE OUR GUNS!")
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To: Erik Latranyi

They most CERTAINLY know who he is.

These reporters may be jealous, but ALL of them would like to BE Woodword or Bernstein.

Cut off that chance, by denying access, and you destroy the hopes of the “little” journalists.

They will FINALLLY turn—and it’s about time!


15 posted on 03/03/2013 5:52:42 AM PST by Flintlock (Paul Revere: "The British are coming--TO TAKE OUR GUNS!")
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To: Kaslin

Lover scorned.


16 posted on 03/03/2013 5:54:35 AM PST by Raycpa
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To: ChildOfThe60s
If a crunch time occurs, they will not abandon him. It’s all fantasy to hope that would occur. I believe that we could have a few reporters grabbed by DHS for some BS subversion charges and it wouldn’t matter.

With Democrats, the press bears all the traits of battered person syndrome.

17 posted on 03/03/2013 6:00:17 AM PST by randita
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To: Kaslin
this could be a turning point -- the moment when the White House press corps starts pushing back.

I'd like to believe this, except for the matters of "the moment when the White House press corps starts" and "pushing back".

No less than Helen Thomas harrumphed vigorously back in 2009 about how the "journalists" in an upcoming press event were going to be called in a predetermined order.

And recall a few weekends ago when they were moaning and wailing about having no access during his golf weekend with Tiger Woods. Ready for the pushback? The first and only question after all that: "Who won?"

18 posted on 03/03/2013 6:09:09 AM PST by jiggyboy (Ten percent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: Flintlock

I may be wrong, but I think the “little” journalists are more than content to scrounge for the scraps underneath the table of a Democrat President.

They only covet the best 5 star feast on the planet when it’s a Republican President. Look how voraciously they worked to bring down Bush and Cheney.


19 posted on 03/03/2013 6:11:30 AM PST by randita
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To: jiggyboy

Ah here we go, Chip Reid of CBS and Helen Thomas vs Robert Gibbs in July, 2009. If you’ve forgotten what a douchebag Gibbs is, this should refresh your memory.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2009/07/01/cbs_helen_thomas_challenge_gibbs_on_controlled_town_hall_meeting.html


20 posted on 03/03/2013 6:18:16 AM PST by jiggyboy (Ten percent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: Erik Latranyi

“...when the WH press corps starts pushing back.”

When pigs fly.


21 posted on 03/03/2013 6:25:55 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (NRA Life Member)
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To: Kaslin
Woodward-Sperling Flap May Turn Tide

Dreamer. Woodward is outnumbered by 25,000 to 1. They have already voted him and his story irrelevant.

Now, let's get back to talking about how the GOP devised and rammed the sequester into law against the president's wishes and how it is going to cause 170,000,000 Americans to lose their jobs.

22 posted on 03/03/2013 6:26:07 AM PST by Right Wing Assault (Dick Obama is more inexperienced now than he was before he was elected.)
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To: Kaslin
This is starting to take on the smell of a phony issue.

The news media's credibility is at an all time low. The lower the news media's credibility goes the lower the presidents credibility goes.

What better way for King Zippo to be able to lie with impunity than create and hype a phony story that the news media is being threatened if they report his lies.

Hype it up enough and pretty soon people will believe if the news media would report this insignificant lie certainly they wouldn't cover up something of real importance.

This is starting to smell like something really big is about to hit the fan and the WH is going to need people to believe the press wouldn't cover up his lies.

23 posted on 03/03/2013 6:47:15 AM PST by IMR 4350
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To: Right Wing Assault
They have already voted him and his story irrelevant.

Hmmm...he's usually on the panel at FNS. Not this week.

24 posted on 03/03/2013 6:56:02 AM PST by ROCKLOBSTER (Hey RATS! Control your murdering freaks.)
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To: Texas Fossil

Was watching CNN while ago (at McDonald’s - not by choice) and they were making it sound like Woodward was exaggerating the threat. I would believe Charles Manson over Obama and his administration.


25 posted on 03/03/2013 8:22:35 AM PST by ilovesarah2012
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To: Kaslin

I’m not buying it; Benghazi alone dwarfs Watergate, yet the Hussein media won’t touch it. When the NYT puts the timeline on the front page and points out the outright lies from the admin, maybe. When Mika and Joe scoff at the absurdity of the “video made them riot” meme. I might concede a shift. Until folks are crucified for Benghazi this article means nothing..


26 posted on 03/03/2013 8:24:56 AM PST by cardinal4 (Constitution? What Constitution?)
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To: randita
Look how voraciously they worked to bring down Bush and Cheney.

and the went into overdrive with Sarah Palin. I have never seen anything like that in my life.

27 posted on 03/03/2013 9:29:13 AM PST by Colorado Doug (Now I know how the Indians felt to be sold out for a few beads and trinkets)
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To: Kaslin
Ed Henry of Fox News asked why the White House had held a closed-to-the-press swearing in for Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.

So why DID the White House hold a closed swearing in for Lew?

28 posted on 03/03/2013 10:57:56 AM PST by what's up
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To: ChildOfThe60s
If a crunch time occurs, they will not abandon him

Normally I'd agree with you...ideologically that's true.

However, there is the matter of ratings to consider. DINO/liberal media is losing viewers/readers and FOX-like outlets are gaining. This is because viewers sense more truth from FOX.

If the lib media senses that their hype propoganda isn't working anymore they may begin to turn against Obama just to stay in business. I do believe they have sensed such a time approaching and if they feel they have reached a point of no return...look out for the exits IMO.

29 posted on 03/03/2013 11:02:19 AM PST by what's up
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To: Kaslin

Woodward brought down Nixon by revealing a cover up about a two bit burglary by some campaign operatives. Clearly Woodward has far more damning information about Obama. The question is would Woodward be willing to regain his reputation and do the same to Obama? Normally I would say no as a card carrying liberal the routine is to defend Obama no matter what. However, Obama made the mistake of threatening Woodward. That might steel his resolve, but I have little hope.


30 posted on 03/03/2013 11:08:20 AM PST by The Great RJ
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To: cardinal4

“Benghazi alone dwarfs Watergate”

Dead On! I don’t mind in the least Woodward getting knocked around over his reporting even if he was trying to set the sequester record straight at Barky’s expense. I’m glad he is getting back some of his medicine and lampooned and discredited. Nixon must be enjoying it big time.

Now if Woodward would get some real balls and go after the Benghazi story like he did Watergate, I’d give him some journalistic cred.

Just proves once again how socialists turn on their own if anything gets in the way of their State-ist ideals or impugns their glorious leader.


31 posted on 03/03/2013 11:18:35 AM PST by A'elian' nation (Political correctness does not legislate tolerance; it only organizes hatred. Jacques Barzun)
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To: Travis McGee

Woodward has opened the door for any trace of self respect remaining in the American-American “press.”


32 posted on 03/03/2013 3:54:32 PM PST by SaraJohnson
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To: SaraJohnson

But are there any? Other than a very few, and dismissing those who report for FOX, since they are dismissed as “right wingers.”

Sharyle Atkisson at CBS, but she can’t get a minute on her own network, and is reduced to sending out Tweets!


33 posted on 03/03/2013 5:57:42 PM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Sacajaweau
[Don't mean to be contrary but I'm sure MOST reporters know exactly who Woodward is....]

In 1972 Woodward and Carl Bernstein, two Washington Post junior reporters, reported on the failed burglary of the Democratic campaign headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in D.C. by White House operatives. Their subsequent reporting was a key factor in the resignation of Richard Nixon in 1974. These events persuaded thousands of young American leftists to enroll in journalism school and flood newspapers, TV and radio stations with job applications. Eventually these activists displaced more traditional journalists and in time they moved into management. Today they control most of American news media which means they control the message. This is the legacy of Woodward and Bernstein.

34 posted on 03/03/2013 11:45:56 PM PST by Brad from Tennessee (A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.)
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To: Does so

Bump for later...


35 posted on 03/04/2013 10:16:30 AM PST by Does so (Progressives Don't Know the Meaning of INFRINGED...)
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To: Kaslin; abb; sickoflibs
As Fournier wrote, the Woodward flap is indicative of the "increasingly toxic relationship between media and government." Things have gotten so ugly that in the midst of the Woodward flap, Fournier put an anonymous White House source on notice that if he continued to send him emails filled with "vulgarity, abusive language" and you'll-regret-it talk, Fournier would feel free to print said missives with attribution.

If Obama and thugs are threatening the press that's A BIGGER STORY than Benghazi... it's tells the totalitarian nature of this administration. Ask the people forced to starve under Stalin if that type of thing mattered...mattered more than the daily 'tractor production numbers'. It matters. Fournier is right on this and the twit complaining is wrong..

36 posted on 03/04/2013 10:25:56 AM PST by GOPJ (DHS secured: 1.6 BILLION bullets - 2.700 tanks and 35,000 drones ...to use on American soil...)
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