Veteran journalist Bob Woodward, the man behind one of the most famous pieces of investigative reporting the world has ever seen, is now saying he has been threatened by a senior White House staffer after reporting (correctly) that President Obama is responsible for the impending sequestration.
“I can’t believe they would go after Woodward,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “Remember when I was on Fox, and I said, ‘Who is going to be the next Woodward and Bernstein?’ Turns out, it’s Woodward – except he still refuses to really take a bow.”
During an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Wednesday, Woodward explained that the President is displaying a “kind of madness I haven’t seen in a long time” for citing looming budget cuts as his reason for not deploying an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf.
Woodward went on to do an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN later that afternoon, in which he explained the White House is not happy with his characterization of President Obama. Below is an excerpt from the interview:
BLITZER: Take this behind-the-scenes a little bit, the allegations being hurled against you right now.
WOODWARD: Well, I mean.
BLITZER: You’re used to this kind of stuff.
WOODWARD: I am.
BLITZER: Share with our viewers what is going on between you and the White House.
WOODWARD: They’re not happy at all and some people kind of said, ‘Look we don’t see eye to eye on this.’ They never really said though – afterwards, they said, ‘This is factually wrong,’ and it was said to me in an e-mail by a top White House…
BLITZER: What was said?
WOODWARD: It was said very clearly, ‘you will regret doing this.’
BLITZER: Who said that?
WOODWARD: Well, I’m not going to say.
BLITZER: Was it a senior person?
WOODWARD: It was a very senior. It makes me feel very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters, ‘you’re going to regret doing something that you believe in, even though we don’t look at it that way, you look at it that way.’ I think if Barack Obama knew that was part of the communication strategy - let’s hope it’s not a strategy…
“He hopes it was not a strategy? What do you think, Bob, they’ve been doing to Fox and people like me,” Glenn asked. “Five boycotts. Five. It’s never happened before, in the history of America. This is the guy who found the enemy’s list from Nixon. This is the guy who exposed – he should know better than that. I contend he does. Either that or I don’t know even know. He’s got to know better than that. He’s not a fool.”
POLTICO later identified the senior White House staffer as Obama economic adviser Gene Sperling. It seems as though Woodward and Sperling had a conversation that became very heated, and, in an attempt to smooth things over, Sperling sent Woodward an email in which the “you will regret” this language appeared. You can see the entire email HERE.
While the White House has since come and said that “no threat was intended,” Glenn sees an eerie parallel between what is being said about Woodward in the wake of his comments and what Glenn has dealt with in the past.
“Hang on a second. If they are employing the tactic they have employed on us several times, here’s how it happens,” Glenn said. “Look at the names, and see if you can find this pattern so far. You’ll have administration officials. You’ll have Center for American Progress. And you will have George Soros. It won’t go any deeper than that yet. But then you’ll also have sympathy groups – religious groups and sympathy groups will come out against him. So who do you have so far?”
Stu went on to report that the Administration has commented, in addition to damning articles in The Nation and Huffington Post. Meanwhile, Neera Tanden, president of Center for American Progress, tweeted, “My amateur advice: stop cooperating with Woodward in the first place.”
“Attention Bob Woodward: they’re already starting to make you regret,” Glenn concluded. “The White House comes out and says, ‘We’re sorry he read it that way.’ But they’re beginning to smear him. They’re beginning to make him look like an old man, out of touch, and they are signaling the end of his career. This is the way they do it. They don’t come out and whack you in an alley.”