Thursday, February 28, 2013

Unless You Got A Visit From This Guy

During which he casually ticked off every member of your extended family by name, what you had for breakfast and where you stash your mistress, then you probably weren't "threatened" by this White House.

From Matt Ygleias at Slate:

Bob Woodward Trolls The World

By Matthew Yglesias | Posted Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, at 8:04 AM

Bob Woodward, the legendary Watergate reporter turned reliable chronicler of insider accounts of political events, has made a series of bizarre assertions over the past week.

It started with Woodward's odd weekend assertion that the White House is trying "to move the goalposts" by replacing sequestration with a deficit reduction package that includes tax hikes. The idea of sequestration was always that it was something elected officials were going to want to replace with alternative deficit reduction. Republicans have been trying tio replace it with a package of cuts targeted at income support programs for the poor. Obama's been trying to replace it with a mixture of spending cuts and tax hikes. Either everyone's moving the goalposts (which I think is tendentious but even-handed) or no one is moving them. But it really intensified Wednesday morning when Woodward went on Morning Joe to suggest it's crazy of Obama to be applying the law as written to the military, instead of simply ignoring it.

Things moved into the absurd last night when it was revealed that National Economic Council director Gene Sperling had concluded an email disagreement with Woodward with the observation that in Sperling's view Woodward would come to regret clinging so tenaciously to an untenable position.
Still, Woodward's accidental reporting on his own, addled state of mind has served at least one valuable, public service: the completely predictable reaction from the "Emperor Messiah Obummer iz a Chicago thug!!!!" wingnutosphere has reminded anyone who is still listening that, yep, these people are either crazy or trying to selling something to the crazies.

From Steve Benen at The Maddow Blog:
Woodward told the world yesterday that this was the threatening email he received. He took a few words out of context in order to look like a victim of heavy-handed White House pressure, but now that the email itself is available, it's clear there was nothing threatening about Sperling's message and Woodward's efforts to suggest otherwise were deliberately deceptive. Indeed, in case facts still matter, what Sperling argued happened to be true -- Woodward had several key facts wrong. It's no doubt why Sperling wrote, "I know you may not believe this, but as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim." 
That's not a threat. That's a White House professional gently trying to encourage a journalist not to publish a mistake. 
Indeed, Woodward himself, after receiving the email he now says included the threat, responded to Sperling:
"You do not ever have to apologize to me. You get wound up because you are making your points and you believe them. This is all part of a serious discussion. I for one welcome a little heat; there should more given the importance. I also welcome your personal advice. I am listening. I know you lived all this. My partial advantage is that I talked extensively with all involved. I am traveling and will try to reach you after 3 pm today. Best, Bob"
Funny, Woodward didn't mention any of this when claiming he'd been threatened.
This would be an ideal time for Woodward to start walking back some of his increasingly bizarre claims, but instead, he's agreed to appear on television tonight -- with Fox News' Sean Hannity. 
No, seriously.


squatlo said...

It's important to remember that Woodward, while a hero to a lot of us for his work in exposing the Watergate scandal, is first and foremost a Republican shill. He's always had an elbow seat in Oval Office of GOP presidents, and might as well blow Republicans for a living, given the fawning coverage he often provides.

The fact that he took THAT little reality-nudge and ran with it to Hannity is proof positive that the guy is nothing more than an overpaid, overhyped, overrated publicity whore.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Woodward's hero image owes a lot to Robert Redford.

He turned to shit along with The War Criminal Post, long ago.