'Threat' to Woodward Wasn't Very Threatening
White House email released, pundits scoff
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Feb 28, 2013 12:04 PM CST
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(Newser) – People took notice yesterday when Bob Woodward told CNN that the White House had warned him that he would "regret" his sequester comments, seemingly implying that officials had threatened him. Well Politico has gotten its hands on the email Woodward was referring to—and it's not terribly threatening. The email, from economic adviser Gene Sperling, kicks off with an apology "for raising my voice" in an earlier conversation.

"But I do truly believe you should rethink your comment" about President Obama moving the sequester goal post, Sperling continues. "I know you may not believe this, but as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim." He goes on to lay out his case for why he believes Woodward is wrong. Woodward seems to take no umbrage, replying that Sperling doesn't need to apologize. "I for one welcome a little heat … I also welcome your personal advice. I am listening."

The reaction has been swift:

  • "We hope Woodward never gets an email in ALL CAPS," quips Elspeth Reeve at the Atlantic Wire.
  • This is what aggressive PR people do for a living, Henry Blodget writes at Business Insider. They cajole, they make friends, they plead, they even yell and bully. "That's all part of the job. If you're in the journalism business, meanwhile, growing a thick skin—and occasionally yelling right back—is also part of the job."
  • The thing is, Woodward probably won't regret this. He has "amassed enough prestige to withstand a hundred terrible op-eds," writes Jonathan Chait at New York. But the whole episode is making him look petty, and demonstrating that, while he's "an elite gatherer of facts," as an analyst he's "a particular kind of awful."

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Showing 3 of 28 comments
Mar 4, 2013 9:06 AM CST
Woodward is a has been trying to remain relevant. His Watergate reporting was a lucky stroke so many decades ago that made him an investigative star journalist. But, as luck would have it, it was all luck. He clearly has not had the skill to unmask a host of political misdoing since and now relies on his clairvoyance - which is non-existent.
Mar 2, 2013 7:05 AM CST
It's a good time for Bob to retire before he embarrasses himself further. He still insists Obama moved the goal posts and called Axelrod a liar, essentially. Interesting since Axelrod has been there and part of the inner workings and really should know and Bob? Well, he just wants to continue access to power and writing boring books nobody wants to read to the end.
Mar 2, 2013 5:21 AM CST
Bob is a person who's time in the lime light has past ( 70's ) and has looked back at his life with the same answer that so many many people do when they get to his age . A say " Well I lucked out and fell into a moment that meant something but never did anything after that " !!! He road the Tiger with " Watergate " and Nixon coming after him , which gave him fame and now in the twilight of life he is trying to fabricate a story out of nothing . And it's not working for him , the proof is the Republicans are standing with him !!!