Skip to comments.Woodward-Sperling Flap May Turn Tide
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.
“...when the WH press corps starts pushing back.”
When pigs fly.
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.
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.
Hmmm...he's usually on the panel at FNS. Not this week.
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.
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..
and the went into overdrive with Sarah Palin. I have never seen anything like that in my life.
So why DID the White House hold a closed swearing in for Lew?
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.
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.
“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.
Woodward has opened the door for any trace of self respect remaining in the American-American “press.”
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!
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.
Bump for later...
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..