By Marion Algier
For decades the left has idolized Bob Woodward of Woodward/Bernstein Watergate fame, but because Woodward told the truth about Obama and Sequestration, the White House has now thrown him under the bus, or is he just the latest Obamaland diversion and sacrifice?
Washington’s most celebrated journalist Bob Woodward said a senior White House official, now known to be Gene Sperling, head of the National Economic Council told him he would "regret" taking issue in recent days with President Barack Obama’s version of how across-the-board budget cuts came to be. Woodward says he received the message in an email.
Woodward said in interviews with Politico and CNN that when he informed the White House he was writing a story critical of the White House’s handling of a debate over the origin of the cuts, known as sequestration, the official (Sperling) reacted angrily.
The aide "yelled at me for about a half hour," Woodward told Politico, and then he followed up the tirade with an email.
"I apologize for raising my voice in our conversation today," the Sperling wrote Woodward. "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."
Politico reported that Woodward saw the statement as a veiled threat.
"I’ve tangled with lots of these people," said the journalist, who established his reputation by breaking the story of the Watergate break-in under President Richard Nixon, All the President’s Men, and has written a series of best selling books about Washington politics. For the youngsters out there, Woodward’s book was turned into a movie: All the President’s Men (Blu-ray), in which Woodward himself was place by Robert Redford.
"But suppose there’s a young reporter who’s only had a couple of years — or 10 years’ — experience and the White House is sending him an email saying, ‘You’re going to regret this,’" Woodward said. "You know, tremble, tremble. I don’t think it’s the way to operate."
Some $85 billion in spending cuts are due to go into effect Friday unless Congress acts, and with the deadline approaching there is practically no movement toward preventing them. President Obama has scheduled a meeting with congressional leaders on Friday, but most of Congress has already left town and little is expected of the encounter.
The president has crisscrossed the country in recent weeks to draw attention to the inconveniences and problems from the cuts, which economists say could shave 0.6 percentage points off of already anemic U.S. growth.
While the president has been conducting that campaign, the continuing blame game over what Woodward called the "paternity" of the sequester has proven a distracting sideshow for the low-informed to the fiscal battle. The administration has sought to counter charges by Republicans that the sequestration cuts were proposed by Obama administration officials even though it is the truth and the complicit mainstream media has allowed the distraction to continue.
Woodward’s book "The Price of Politics" is a fly-on-the-wall account of the negotiations in 2011 that ended with a deal to raise the nation’s debt limit. As part of the deal, both sides agreed to make additional efforts to reduce the national budget deficit, and proposed the sequester as an alternative so unappealing that it would force the administration and congressional Republicans to find common ground.
That deal proved elusive and rather than tackling the real problems, both sides are currently trading blame for the sequestration cuts.
WOODWARD TWEETS …
Woodward said in an article in the Washington Post on Friday that the president and his chief of staff at the time, current Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, were wrong in initially claiming last year that the sequester was the Republicans’ idea.
"Obama personally approved of the plan for Lew and (Rob) Nabors to propose the sequester to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid," Woodward said. "They did so at 2:30 p.m. July 27, 2011, according to interviews with two senior White House aides who were directly involved." Nabors was then the White House’s chief liaison to Congress and is now deputy chief of staff.
The administration has argued that both sides agreed to the terms of the sequester and has pointed to comments at the time from House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, that he was for the most part satisfied with the deal that spawned the arrangement.
Woodward’s account of his recent testy exchange with the White House points to continued sensitivity over the issue of whose idea the sequester was.
A White House official said in an emailed response to Reuters that no threat was intended by the comment.
"The email from the aide was sent to apologize for voices being raised in their previous conversation," the aide said. "The note suggested that Mr. Woodward would regret the observation he made regarding the sequester because that observation was inaccurate, nothing more."
The BuzzFeed news website identified the official who tangled with Woodward as Gene Sperling, head of the National Economic Council. The White House did not respond to a request to confirm the identity of the official.
News of the exchange drew instant reaction from Washington insiders on Twitter, much of it poking fun at the war of words.
"My amateur advice: stop cooperating with Woodward in the first place," wrote Neera Tanden, the president of the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress think tank and a former Obama campaign advisor.
"Hey, guess what? All of you will talk to Woodward for his next book, too," wrote Tony Fratto of Hamilton Place Strategies and a former White House official under President George W. Bush.
STL Blonde wrote, “Bob Woodward is trending, so I’ll tweet this .. Richard Nixon was actually a good president.”
“Bob Woodward has always been a hero of the left for nailing Nixon. Now they will demonize him for exposing Obama as a corrupt liar.” wrote Dale Randolph.
Hey Bob Woodward, "You could have listened to Michael Barone He saw it coming "All the President’s Thugs”. Wrote Christian Adams.
“Hoping Woodward has better security than Ambassador Steven’s did”, said Spread Butter.
RUSH: I’m just not sure that what we’re dealing with here is a "you’re gonna have a dead horse in your bed tomorrow morning" kind of threat. I don’t think that’s what we’re dealing with. I do think the White House is gonna take care of Woodward with a death panel down the road. That’s how they’re gonna deal with this. We’ll never know. Woodward’s gonna get sick and the death panel will come in there and that will be that.
RUSH: Woodward is the first guy to actually draw blood from this regime in five years — and that, the regime doesn’t like.
Woodward on Obama Admin: ‘They Got Caught About Being the Father of the Sequester”
Bob Woodward sat down with Sean Hannity to elaborate on all the fallout from his claim that he received an intimidating e-mail from the White House telling him he’ll “regret” his reporting. He clarified that he didn’t feel personally threatened, but it was still inappropriate for the White House to engage with a member of the press in that kind of intimidating manner.
Woodward never used the word "threat" in his interviews with POLITICO and CNN, but he frequently fastened upon Sperling’s use of the word "regret" as an example of the White House trying to exert power.
“As you know, when somebody says you’re gonna regret something, particularly someone in a position of power, like Gene Sperling, he’s not just a guy in the White House, he is the economic czar for the president. He did the same thing for Bill Clinton; he had the same job. When you say ‘you’re gonna regret challenging us,’ I just think that’s a mistake. And if you go back into the history and what other people are saying now about the Obama White House–Ron Fournier, of National Journal, wrote a piece that he’s actually refused to talk to somebody in the White House because the language he gets from this person is so belligerent.”, said Woodward
Woodward did not answer Hannity’s question of if the Obama administration blatantly lied, saying that everyone needs to relax the rhetoric and realize people outside of DC are frustrated at “how crazed this has become.”
In the second part of the interview, Hannity expressed his concern that the media is now no more than an “extension of the press office.” Woodward bemoaned the current era of hyper-partisanship that he partly blamed Fox News and MSNBC on. Hannity defended the separation of news reporting and opinion programing on Fox, saying that the media has become more neutered than it was during Watergate. Woodward agreed that the press needs to be more aggressive, and that White House officials sending warnings to reporters about what they’re saying doesn’t help.
Discussing the Woodward situation on ‘The Five’, co-host and former first lady of San Francisco, Kimberly Guilfoyle, said that regardless of what is said by the White House in public, Bob Woodward can bet that this will come back to him in one way or other. Co-host and former press secretary for George W. Bush, Dana Parino, agreed. For in the end let us remember that… liberals sacrifice and eat their own if they begin to question or think for themselves… or if a good distraction is needed!
The price of speaking the truth or reporting impartially is a high one. Even leftist media icons like Bob Woodward are suddenly treated like the leftist media, and often they themselves, normally treat the few true impartial reporters left, members of the alternative media, and networks like Fox News or the BlazeTV who dare speak out.
David Horowitz, no stranger to attacks from the Progressive left, wrote:
As the result of his efforts to recount the genesis, and likely effects, of sequestration, the across-the-board spending cuts slated to begin Friday, Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward is getting a taste of what happens to those who challenge the Obama-Democrat-media machine. Read full article HERE.
Remember former former WH Chief of Staff Raum Emanual’s famous quote: “Never let a good crisis go to waste!”… and if you read between the lines, Never let the opportunity to create a good crisis (or two) go to waste. Well the Obamaquester crisis didn’t work as planned so a good media attack and war with an icon of their own was plan “B”.
And indeed… it has begun! Bob Woodward was been lambasted on almost every morning TV show and liberal talk show in America over the past few days. The mainstream media = the Obama-Democrat media machine and they like good little soldiers take direction, given on a daily morning call, and if so told… they eat their own… even if it is just to create another diversion for the Obama White House!
But what do they do now after Sequestration has come and gone and the sky has not fallen?!? How many times can they do this? How many of their own icons can be thrown to the wolves before even the lowest–informed voters realize they are being had? Especially when in the end… they sometimes even admit their lies?!? The sad answer… they can do it over and over again as long as they can keep demonizing the Republicans with stunts like stopping the White House tours right before Easter and Spring break, if the low-informed keep buying it.