February 28, 2013

RON FOURNIER: Why Bob Woodward’s Fight With The White House Matters to You. “As editor-in-chief of National Journal, I received several e-mails and telephone calls from this White House official filled with vulgarity, abusive language, and virtually the same phrase that Woodward called a veiled threat. . . . I changed the rules of our relationship, first, because it was a waste of my time (and the official’s government-funded salary) to engage in abusive conversations. Second, I didn’t want to condone behavior that might intimidate less-experienced reporters, a reaction I personally witnessed in journalists covering the Obama administration.”

I have to say, though, that Fournier’s “this can’t be what Obama wants” take, like Woodward’s similar line, has a sort of if the Tsar only knew flavor to it. Me, I think that political organizations, like most other organizations, get their flavor from the top.

UPDATE: Flashback: Obama Campaign’s “bellicose” treatment of critical reporters in 2008.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Tom Elia writes:

Am I the only one who sees the absurd irony in the veiled threats to reporters and writers like Woodward, Fournier, Attkisson, Davis, etc., by these faux White House ‘tough guys’ — using the force of government granted them by the voters, by the way — in this instance (and certainly others) defending the Administration’s story about non-cut ‘cuts’ in government spending and the ‘damage’ they will do.

Fake ‘tough guys’ defending non-cut ‘cuts.’ It’s all a show. And it’s really quite sad.

Welcome to the era of Hope And Change.