Back in the days of Watergate, Bob Woodward was a top notch journalist who unleashed a new era of investigative journalist. Part of that trend was the new classification of journalists as 'pop stars' in society. Along with Carl Bernstein and the team at the prestigious Washington Post, they literally forced the first President in history to resign. "Woodward and Bernstein's " story became the Oscar winning movie of All The President's Men.
The prolific Woodward over the years has published a number of books. With each one, the content was less and less interesting. The works were not investigative in nature and filled with his views on a variety of topics that at time were pompous and filled with inside the Beltway nonsense. Increasingly, the American public interest in him has diminished and moved on to more relevant journalists.
While his books continue to sell they just weren't current with the ever changing face of American politics.
Thus we have the latest in his attempt to be a 'star' again and it doesn't become him. Recently Woodward has been all over President Obama's case which is his right to do so. Apparently he believes everything bad in Washington is because of the President's lack of leadership forgetting the crazies who control the House of Representatives.
Well in a desperate move to gain attention again he claimed on "Behind the Curtain" that a senior official at the White House had threaten him. Listening to Woodward you would think that the official had put a mob hit out on him and that his life was in danger. Really Bob, really?
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.”
Well no, not really at all since it turns out that White House Staffer Gene Sperling released the full emails containing the supposed threat to Woodward. What Sperling simply said he believed that Woodward would 'regret' being on the wrong side of the issue of the budget. The actual line was:
" 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."
This is hardly a threat from the White House that Woodward should fear and go into the witness protection program. The entire email exchange can be read here.
What Woodward did last night was grandstand in the most unprofessional way. He knows better but clearly could not help himself. After all, it was another fifteen minutes of fame for him.