Bob Woodward IS Going To Regret Making An Ass Of Himself

For almost a week now Fox News and their rightist comrades have been giddily singing the praises of Bob Woodward, someone they ordinarily denounce as a minion of Satan. The reason for this new found worship is that Woodward has taken to satisfying Fox’s never-ending craving for sound bites that portray President Obama as a thug.

Woodward has made a very public showing of what he has characterized as a threat. He asserted that a “very senior person” in the administration delivered an ominous warning that “You will regret doing this.” He went on to say “It makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters, you’re going to regret doing something.”

The White House disputed the inference Woodward was making and he was eventually compelled to release the emails that he said were the source of the alleged threat. As so often occurs, Woodward was obviously being hyper-sensitive and his comments about the exchange bear little resemblance to reality. No wonder Fox News pounced on it. Misrepresentation of reality is their forte. Here is what the actual email from White House Economic Council Director Gene Sperling said:

“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. The idea that the sequester was to force both sides to go back to try at a big or grand barain with a mix of entitlements and revenues (even if there were serious disagreements on composition) was part of the DNA of the thing from the start.”

It is absolutely disingenuous and untrue to cast these remarks as a threat. Sperling was speaking “as a friend” and offering advice that Woodward’s position would prove to be wrong and it is that error that he would eventually regret, not any imagined reprisal from the President. And to underscore how tame the exchange was even from Woodward’s perspective, he responded to Sperling’s email saying…

“Gene: 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.”

Does that sound like someone who feels that he was threatened by a powerful and hostile government enforcer? Nevertheless, Woodward went on television and drew a picture of the exchange that is totally at odds with his own account. The only plausible explanation for this deception is that he wanted to gin up a controversy that would thrust him into the limelight and make him look like a courageous journalist suffering at the hands of a vengeful despot. In other words…a pitiful ploy for attention. Which is something he got in abundance from the right-wing media who eat this stuff up.

Fox News has been drooling over this debate for days, and their lie-riddled web site Fox Nation posted an absurd item that excised Woodward’s email response and topped off the piece with a headline bleating “Will the White House Make Bob Woodward ‘Regret’ Reporting Obama’s Sequester ‘Lies’?”

Fox Nation - Bob Woodward

In one short sentence Fox distorted the Woodward/Sperling exchange (no one threatened to “make” anyone do anything), and they inserted an unsupported allegation that Obama had lied about the sequester. All in a day’s obfuscation and deceit for Fox News.

[Update] Media Matters is reporting that a number of right-wing critics are backtracking now that the actual emails have been released and the alleged threat is clearly non-existent. For instance, Matt Lewis (The Daily Caller) says that conservatives were “played” by Woodward. Tucker Carlson appeared on Fox to say the intimidation claim was “hyped.” Erick Erickson (Red State) says he “must now move to the ‘not a threat’ camp.” However, some dead-enders are still pushing the fabricated theme. They include Breitbart’s John Nolte, Matt Drudge, and, of course, Fox News, where Neil Cavuto joined in and then let Manic Mark Levin rant uninterrupted about what a “sleazy,” “nasty,” person Obama is.

Fox News - Bob Wodward


9 thoughts on “Bob Woodward IS Going To Regret Making An Ass Of Himself

  1. If the rest of the real journalist will just ignore Woodward and give him the cold shoulder for awhile, that may give pause to others who may contemplate being stooooopid in public. Woodward hurt himself here. I wonder if he’ll come to the same conclusion.

  2. The left-wing will regret dog-piling on Bob Woodward. While it’s true that the e-mail wasn’t describing a physical threat, Woodward can easily say that the e-mail sends a chilling message: dare to criticize President Obama and claim that he has a big role in the current sequester debacle, and the left will go to Def Com 5 on you.

    The nastiness of the left-wing never ceases to amaze me.

    • Because he was totally not making a fool of himself.

      Oh wait, he was; the column the email was about was gibberish not really factual.

    • You did read Woodwards e-mail in response to “the threat” didn’t you? You did see the right wing response and not just Marks’ reporting of the rightwing response didn’t you? Good god man, it was even written and spoken in English.

      Hell, Woodward can say whatever he wants about the e-mail but his own words should tell you he didn’t feel threatened. It appears he is able to lie about the exchange way too easily and you’re willing to believe it because…….?

      • Woodward stated on “Hannity” that he hasn’t used the word “threatened”; that’s how everybody else is describing it. But the potentially chilling effect of the sentence “You will regret doing this” simply can’t be explained away.

        Keep in mind what brought on this whole episode. According to Woodward, Sperling was shouting at him for a half-hour about the sequester details. Even though Sperling apologized in the e-mail, following up with that sentence doesn’t lessen anything.

        • Woodward is dishonestly flapping around now that the has been exposed via the emails. He can’t pretend that he never characterized the exchange as a threat and simultaneously say it had a “chilling effect.” That’s a contradiction in terms.

          As for the original discussion when Sperling shouted at him, Woodward’s email response clearly showed he wasn’t bothered by it, in fact, he seemed to appreciate it. It only became a problem later when he went on TV looking for attention. He knew that two friends having a vigorous discussion wouldn’t get him the attention he sought. So he embellished it and now he’s stuck in his own web of lies.

          So Sperling was right. I’ll bet Woodward is regretful now. And not for anything Sperling did, but because of his own deceit.

          • I’m the one who said that sentence had a “chilling effect” – because it is clearly true. Several other people, including Lanny Davis, have also come forward and stated how there have been some strog-arm tactics put forth by some of Obama’s rank-and-file. Again, we are not talking about people winding up with cement overshoes at the bottom of the Hudson. We are talking about an obviously orchestrated attempt to shout down anybody who dares to criticize the Annointed One.

            I guess Sperling was right, but only because of the group shout-down that has been unleashed. Bob Woodward did not lie.

  3. Woodward played us with his “Deep Threat.”

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