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BOB WOODWARD: A 'Very Senior' White House Person Warned Me I'd 'Regret' What I'm Doing

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Bob Woodward said this evening on CNN that a "very senior person" at the White House warned him in an email that he would "regret doing this," the same day he has continued to slam President Barack Obama over the looming forced cuts known as the sequester.

CNN host Wolf Blitzer said that the network invited a White House official to debate Woodward on-air, but the White House declined.

"It makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters, 'You're going to regret doing something that you believe in,'" Woodward said.

"I think they're confused," Woodward said of the White House's pushback on his reporting.

Earlier today on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Woodward ripped into Obama in what has become an ongoing feud between the veteran Washington Post journalist and the White House. Woodward said Obama was showing 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.

The Defense Department said in early February that it would not deploy the U.S.S. Harry Truman to the Persian Gulf, citing budget concerns relating to the looming cuts known as the sequester.

"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 on MSNBC

"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?"

Last weekend, Woodward called out Obama for what he said was "moving the goal posts" on the sequester by requesting that revenue be part of a deal to avert it.

by on Feb. 28, 2013 at 6:37 AM
Replies (31-40):
Donna6503
by Platinum Member on Feb. 28, 2013 at 2:53 PM
1 mom liked this
Gee, I don't recall the right talking about integrity of reporting the news when Joseph Wilson wrote his report ten years ago about Iraq, Niger, and yellowcake uranium. In fact, didn't his wife get outed; by Cheney's chief of staff, from the CIA, as a "reward" for honest reported ... Or is it fair, to think of it as a threat.

Hmm, again politicians vs the press ... is nothing new.

Quoting pvtjokerus:

 Oh, she is now not suppose to report what is actually happening?!  You should apply to MSNBC or NBC.  You would fit in great there.  Or maybe put in a job applicant at the LA Times, Rolling Stone Magazine or better yet, how about 60 minutes since they too are getting good at not reporting TRUE facts.




Quoting coolmommy2x:

Yep. But OP doesn't care, this is just another post to make everyone dislike and distrust the President. It's hardly news.


Quoting Donna6503:

This maybe a news flash, the war between the press and politicians is as old as our republic.



 



Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Goodwoman614
by Satan on Feb. 28, 2013 at 3:12 PM
3 moms liked this

Awww, poor candle...another I-hate-Obama post exposed for what it is, a partisan turd.


GrannyM.
by Bronze Member on Feb. 28, 2013 at 3:13 PM
1 mom liked this

How to threaten Bob Woodward

Posted by Alexandra Petri on February 28, 2013 at 1:48 pm

 
At least, this is how the conversation has sounded.

When is a threat not a threat? Or when is a "threat" not a threat?

Well, consider what all the abominable Twitterati are trying to nickname Woodwardgate.

First, Bob Woodward wrote an op-ed in the Post noting that the sequester - with its automatic, draconian spending cuts without tax increases - was the president's idea, not, as the president has been saying, the brainchild of Congress. Shortly thereafter, all Inside Baseball Hell broke loose. The White House was unhappy. Officials pointed out that Everyone Knew At The Time that this was never ACTUALLY supposed to take effect, because Washington was supposed to come together and act like grown-ups and reach compromise. It took them several tries to say this, because midway through the phrase about how everyone seriously expected Washington to act like grown-ups and come together to reach a mature compromise, they kept bursting into hysterical laughter.

Politico ran a piece that started off like this. I am not making this up:

"Bob Woodward called a senior White House official last week to tell him that in a piece in that weekend's Washington Post, he was going to question President Barack Obama's account of how sequestration came about - and got a major-league brushback. The Obama aide "yelled at me for about a half-hour," Woodward told us in an hourlong interview yesterday around the Georgetown dining room table where so many generations of Washington's powerful have spilled their secrets.

Digging into one of his famous folders, Woodward said the tirade was followed by a page-long email from the aide, one of the four or five administration officials most closely involved in the fiscal negotiations with the Hill. "I apologize for raising my voice in our conversation today," the official typed. "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."

Woodward repeated the last sentence, making clear he saw it as a veiled threat. " ‘You'll regret.' Come on," he said. "I think if Obama himself saw the way they're dealing with some of this, he would say, ‘Whoa, we don't tell any reporter ‘you're going to regret challenging us.' "

"They have to be willing to live in the world where they're challenged," Woodward continued in his calm, instantly recognizable voice. "I've tangled with lots of these people. 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.' You know, tremble, tremble. I don't think it's the way to operate."

(Bolds mine)

This is literally how all my Bob Woodward fan fiction begins, except for the one where he approaches you at a bar and says he's got a flag he would like to plant in your flowerpot. And I've got a pretty sizable folder of it - if not a famous folder, yet.

Trembling aside, the Internet seems to be in a bit of an uproar about whether Woodward was threatened by the White House. Woodward himself never said he was threatened, although he did describe the whole approach to communicating with him as "Mickey Mouse" on CNN, which is about as threatening an adjective as exists on this Earth, if my childhood nightmares are to be believed.

Since the "threatened" headline began to gain purchase, a number of younger reporters have leapt up to say that they get emails all the time saying much worse, from the flacks of far more threatening and imposing figures, all the time. "I got six emails yesterday saying that Joe Biden was about to sic his trained bears on my home," they said. "People never tell me that they think I will ‘regret' things. They tell me that they think I will RUE THE DAY I wrote such words, and that my error will be FOREVER BRANDED ON MY SOUL."

"Sometimes," they added, "Gene Sperling just sends me menacing GIFs of horseheads. But having grown up on the Internet, I am used to this sort of thing. Poor Woodward, so thin-skinned as to mistake this for a threat. I just sent him an email asking him out to coffee and saying his tie looked nice, and he burst into tears and demanded protective custody."

The e-mails have since been leaked, and the relevant missive (from economic adviser Gene Sperling) turns out to begin with an apology for yelling.

Because nothing is more ominous than an apology for yelling! as some people are still maintaining. They have been forced into this position after they hoisted Woodward aloft on their shoulders as The One True Journalist in Washington and started saying that this intimidation had gone on far too long. "It's not what we read on the page," they say. "It's how he felt at the time. After all, when Bob Woodward criticizes a White House, we know who generally prevails in this equation."

To be fair, this all piles on top of the perception that the White House press corps increasingly spends its days doing the journalistic equivalent of sitting in a cafe with roses in hand, waiting hours and hours for a date who never shows. Maybe this is The Game, or the White House has been reading some other manual that indicates that this is how you get people to fall all over you. Up to a point.

"I can take any amount of criticism," Noel Coward said, "so long as it is unqualified praise." This certainly seems to be the White House's strategy. Fortunately, dozens of people are willing to leap up for whatever scoops they are willing to toss into the pool, batting each other aside with their handbags and shouting noisily into the Twitters. So far. After all, better that than suffer a fate far more horrible than Woodward's, even for a young reporter.

I got the most threatening e-mail possible from the White House: no e-mail at all.

candlegal
by Judy on Feb. 28, 2013 at 3:39 PM
2 moms liked this

aww, cute baby.

Quoting Goodwoman614:

Awww, poor candle...another I-hate-Obama post exposed for what it is, a partisan turd.



LoveMyBoyK
by Ruby Member on Feb. 28, 2013 at 5:07 PM
1 mom liked this
If you do not think it should be done, why berate the OP and claim objecting to it is just hating on Obama? It has become all too common and tiresome for accusations of "hating Obama" or even of racism to appear ANY time An objection is raised to his Administration's behavior.


Quoting coolmommy2x:

No I don't think it's OK, no I don't think this WH should do it. I don't think anyone should. Period.



The press and WH have hated each other for YEARS. It's not new. They're oil and water. It's not new and as long as news is reported on by people, it won't end. It's human nature. And the press can be bullies too. It's not one sided and it's bi-partisan.




Quoting LoveMyBoyK:

So it is okay with you when the WH threatens/bullies the press? Or is it that you just do not want this particular WH criticized for it?






Quoting coolmommy2x:

Yep. But OP doesn't care, this is just another post to make everyone dislike and distrust the President. It's hardly news.







Quoting Donna6503:

This maybe a news flash, the war between the press and politicians is as old as our republic.


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
coolmommy2x
by Gold Member on Feb. 28, 2013 at 5:31 PM
OP does not like Obama at all. She posts a negative post about him almost everyday. She will tell you this so I'm not really "claiming" anything besides the truth. She even thanked me for the bump! And I NEVER used the word racism (I could be wrong but I don't believe the OP is a racist at all for not liking him). If you choose to berate me, please do so accurately.

Quoting LoveMyBoyK:

If you do not think it should be done, why berate the OP and claim objecting to it is just hating on Obama? It has become all too common and tiresome for accusations of "hating Obama" or even of racism to appear ANY time An objection is raised to his Administration's behavior.




Quoting coolmommy2x:

No I don't think it's OK, no I don't think this WH should do it. I don't think anyone should. Period.





The press and WH have hated each other for YEARS. It's not new. They're oil and water. It's not new and as long as news is reported on by people, it won't end. It's human nature. And the press can be bullies too. It's not one sided and it's bi-partisan.






Quoting LoveMyBoyK:

So it is okay with you when the WH threatens/bullies the press? Or is it that you just do not want this particular WH criticized for it?








Quoting coolmommy2x:

Yep. But OP doesn't care, this is just another post to make everyone dislike and distrust the President. It's hardly news.









Quoting Donna6503:

This maybe a news flash, the war between the press and politicians is as old as our republic.


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
LoveMyBoyK
by Ruby Member on Feb. 28, 2013 at 6:07 PM
1 mom liked this
She does not have to like Obama, you completely dodged the point. Her like or dislike of him DOES NOT NEGATE the validity of her complaint in the OP. The constant attempts to deflect criticism Of Obama by claiming the person doing The criticizing just does not like him is beyond ridiculous.


Quoting coolmommy2x:

OP does not like Obama at all. She posts a negative post about him almost everyday. She will tell you this so I'm not really "claiming" anything besides the truth. She even thanked me for the bump! And I NEVER used the word racism (I could be wrong but I don't believe the OP is a racist at all for not liking him). If you choose to berate me, please do so accurately.



Quoting LoveMyBoyK:

If you do not think it should be done, why berate the OP and claim objecting to it is just hating on Obama? It has become all too common and tiresome for accusations of "hating Obama" or even of racism to appear ANY time An objection is raised to his Administration's behavior.






Quoting coolmommy2x:

No I don't think it's OK, no I don't think this WH should do it. I don't think anyone should. Period.







The press and WH have hated each other for YEARS. It's not new. They're oil and water. It's not new and as long as news is reported on by people, it won't end. It's human nature. And the press can be bullies too. It's not one sided and it's bi-partisan.








Quoting LoveMyBoyK:

So it is okay with you when the WH threatens/bullies the press? Or is it that you just do not want this particular WH criticized for it?










Quoting coolmommy2x:

Yep. But OP doesn't care, this is just another post to make everyone dislike and distrust the President. It's hardly news.











Quoting Donna6503:

This maybe a news flash, the war between the press and politicians is as old as our republic.



Posted on CafeMom Mobile
soonergirl980
by Silver Member on Feb. 28, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Actually even though the press generally HATED Bush's politics they administration was generally fair with the press. Clinton loved the press and they for the most part loved him. Obama is showing the most contempt for the press than any President in decades and for some reason for the most part the press is eating it up.


Quoting coolmommy2x:

Yep. But OP doesn't care, this is just another post to make everyone dislike and distrust the President. It's hardly news.

Quoting Donna6503:

This maybe a news flash, the war between the press and politicians is as old as our republic.



__Heather__
by on Feb. 28, 2013 at 6:43 PM

Our POTUS is a joke and our media is a joke.  It's intriguing to see some old school journalists hitting back and it's also intriguing to see some of the mainstream media covering it.  The intent of the media should be to find news, get original sources, report the news, and help educate the masses. This has not been happening for YEARS.  As a graduate with a major in journalism, I can't stand ANY televised news.  All you get is a bunch of talk, commentary, etc. Where is the hard news people???!! News organizations should be investigative and serve as a check in the powers of the government, not be it's lapdog.

KamWorthy
by Silver Member on Feb. 28, 2013 at 7:37 PM
Yes, Mr. Woodward is certainly a threat to any administration given his record I'd say.
Quoting __Heather__:

Our POTUS is a joke and our media is a joke.  It's intriguing to see some old school journalists hitting back and it's also intriguing to see some of the mainstream media covering it.  The intent of the media should be to find news, get original sources, report the news, and help educate the masses. This has not been happening for YEARS.  As a graduate with a major in journalism, I can't stand ANY televised news.  All you get is a bunch of talk, commentary, etc. Where is the hard news people???!! News organizations should be investigative and serve as a check in the powers of the government, not be it's lapdog.

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