Woodward indicates he’s made Obama’s enemies list

The scene in the movie in which Woodstein are told that their lives are in danger. Maybe if a movie is made about this latest threat, they can get Ricky Gervais to play Woodward...

The scene in the movie in which Woodstein are told that their lives are in danger. Maybe if a movie is made about this latest threat, they can get Ricky Gervais to play Woodward…

I think maybe Bob Woodward’s feeling nostalgic for the days when he felt like he had to look over his shoulder to see whether G. Gordon Liddy was following him:

Today on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward told CNN that he has been threatened by White House staff over his budget cut challenge. Highlights from the interview are below; a full transcript will be posted on http://archives.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/sitroom.html.

MANDATORY CREDIT: CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer”

BLITZER: Who sent that e-mail to you?

WOODWARD: Well, I’m not going to say.

BLITZER:  Was it a senior person at the White House?

WOODWARD: A very senior person.  And just as a matter – I mean, it makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters, you’re going to regret doing something that you believe in. And even though we don’t look at it that way, you do look at it that way.  And I think if Barack Obama knew that was part of the communication’s strategy – let’s hope it’s not a strategy, but it’s a tactic that somebody’s employed, and said, look, we don’t go around trying to say to reporters, if you, in an honest way, present something we don’t like, that, you know, you’re going to regret this.  And just – it’s Mickey Mouse…

Turns out that the “threat,” from economic adviser Gene Sperling, took this form:


I apologize for raising my voice in our conversation today. My bad. I do understand your problems with a couple of our statements in the fall — but feel on the other hand that you focus on a few specific trees that gives a very wrong perception of the forest. But perhaps we will just not see eye to eye here.

But I do truly believe you should rethink your comment about saying saying that Potus asking for revenues is moving the goal post. I know you may not believe this, but as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim…

I agree there are more than one side to our first disagreement, but again think this latter issue is diffferent. Not out to argue and argue on this latter point. Just my sincere advice. Your call obviously.

My apologies again for raising my voice on the call with you. Feel bad about that and truly apologize.


That brute! Next time we need to find a bin Laden, we should let this guy interrogate the prisoners

Now, even the folks over at the Post are making fun of their guy being “threatened.” I especially like the graphic, the “General Scale o’ Threateningness.

17 thoughts on “Woodward indicates he’s made Obama’s enemies list

  1. die deutsche Flußgabelung

    Woodard must wet himself when got “My apologies again for raising my voice.”

    Boy Sperling sounds like one bad mama jama. He must like killing people with kindness.

  2. Mark Stewart

    Is that what that was about? That’s some preening on Woodward’s part; gives bullying a good name. Maybe the White House should have had an intern call him and tell him to F$&@ off. And hung up.

  3. kc

    My apologies again for raising my voice on the call with you. Feel bad about that and truly apologize.

    What kind of fiend would say a thing like that?

    I hope Mr. Woodward has police protection.

  4. Bryan D. Caskey

    There are several lies Woodward has exposed:

    1. Obama, despite the media blitz to blame the GOP, actually conceived of and proposed the sequester.

    2. Obama, despite now claiming that tax increases must be part of the deal to avoid the sequester, agreed last year that only spending cuts would constitute the plan to avoid the sequester. Thus, he’s “moved goalposts” yet again.

    3. Obama does not in fact have to release illegal aliens or cancel ship deployments due to the sequester — he’s doing these things by choice, for political purposes.

    Even Bob Woodward, who is about at sainted as you can get in the Church of Journalism, isn’t immune to the rest of the media jumping on him. Chuck Todd has said that Woodward is a “Temporary Spokesman for Republicans”. Bob Woodward. Temporary spokesman for the Republicans. Right. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/02/25/chuck_todd_woodward_became_spokesperson_for_the_republicans.html

    Also, David Pflouffe has taken to Twitter to spread the meme that Bob Woodward is an old horse ready for the glue factory: https://twitter.com/davidplouffe/status/306975099909709825

    This is what happens when you call a strike against Obama. Even Woodward’s saintly status won’t save him. The “regret” is that Woodward is now “the Other”. The rest of his media friends won’t back him up. Even though he’s right.

  5. Juan Caruso

    Gene B. Sperling is a lawyer; Woodward is not. Let’s believe Sperling rathewr than a seasoned investigative journalist with notches on his rifle stock. Wrong!

    Prediction: This story will not stop for long. It is going to get more interesting.

      1. Juan Caruso

        “Sperling is an economist. He may also be a lawyer (I don’t know), but he is first and foremost an economist.” – S. Gordy

        Gene B. Sperling received a B.A. in political science from the University of Minnesota and his J.D. from Yale. Although he attended The Wharton School he claims no degree in Economics even at an undergrad level.

        As a political strategist (lawyer-lobbyist) he has been appointed to some economic policy posts where he rubbed shoulders with other lawyers making economic policy decisions.

        Law graduates in political postings are always lawyers until otherwise credentialed (no honorary degrees, please) by an accredited institution. We do not believe lawyers are good at everything they are politically empowered to do. In fact, history (when journalists allow a full, accurate accounting) sometimes shows quite the opposite.

          1. Juan Caruso

            “We do not believe lawyers are good at everything they are politically empowered to do. ” Juan C.

            Silence, mine has been at least a minority opinion among college graduates before the public school grade inflation became trendy several decades past. Law graduates were widely accepted as poor in economics (particularly in filings of their personal income tax returns, where they ranked #1 among professioals – IRS scoflaw profile 1980s), understanding of macro and micro-economics (rarely educated), and human management.

            As to arrogance, court-room nuances, and speed-reading, however, they remain generally without peer. The above opinions have never been solitarily my own.

  6. Bart

    I am not a drinker except on rare social occasions but last night, I was very tempted to belt down a few shots without the benefit of a mixer when I decided to watch Hannity interview Woodward. I am still traumatized over the experience but it was worth it. Woodward tried to parse the exchange in the best language he could but it was obvious that he has been hit hard by his fellow liberal journalists and he knows that those words from Sperling in the email had significant meaning and it is not a pleasant situation for Woodward. Reporting the truth can be dangerous to your health and social status if you dare say the wrong thing about the Obama administration and especially Obama.

    This administration and the assembly of Chicago politicians who are key players do not screw around when they believe they have been attacked by anyone, especially one of their own. Bare knuckles is a nice way to describe how they do come after their “enemies” and it doesn’t take much to get on their bad side as Woodward is learning.

    Woodward did a great job exposing Nixon and his henchmen during Watergate and if the older generation on this blog will remember, Nixon had his “enemies list” and like the Obama gang, he would go after his enemies with the same intensity as Obama does.

    I may not agree with Woodward on some things but overall he is a good reporter/journalist/writer and a great example of the days when investigative journalists were actually investigative journalists, not advocates in print or broadcast media for their own political beliefs or affiliations.

  7. Brad Warthen Post author

    Woodward, by the way, called himself a Republican back in the Watergate days. Don’t know how he’d identify himself today, if at all.

    In other words, I know of no reason why the Obama administration should consider him “one of their own.”

    1. Bart

      Although Woodward is more of an Independent in most instances, in a CNN interview in October 2010, he did acknowledge he is a registered Democrat. And, as most know because the majority of reporters, journalists, etc. admit to being Democrats. Conclusion as to party affiliation whether he admitted it or not- Democrat – inevitable.

  8. Kathryn Fenner

    Juan, when I went to Emory Law School, it was all about economics. Richard Posner at U of Chicago had just been developing his law and economics theories, and it wasn’t until I studied for the bar that I learned that tort law was not in reality as concerned about the Least Cost Avoider.

    Economics and filing tax returns are two different things. Taxes are accounting, not economics.


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