The PJ Tatler

They Told Me If I Voted Republican the White House Would Start Threatening Reporters, And They Were Right!

Legendary reporter Bob Woodward tells Politico that White House staffers have threatened him over his sequester reporting.

Bob Woodward said this evening on CNN that a “very senior person” at the White House warned him in an email that he would “regret doing this,” the same day he has continued to slam President Barack Obama over the looming forced cuts known as the sequester.

CNN host Wolf Blitzer said that the network invited a White House official to debate Woodward on-air, but the White House declined.

What’s there to debate? Bob Woodward’s reporting has spoiled Obama’s plan. That plan was to blame the entire sequester on Republicans, then allow the cuts to hit, and blame them again. Woodward reported that the sequester was the Obama White House’s idea, blowing the plan to bits.

Woodward isn’t easily dismissed. He’s a veteran reporter who helped bring down the last truly paranoid president we had, Richard Nixon, and at 69 years old is going after another arguably more paranoid president.

So all the president’s men are threatening Woodward. Politico picks up the story.

Bob Woodward called a senior White House official last week to tell him that in a piece in that weekend’s Washington Post, he was going to question President Barack Obama’s account of how sequestration came about – and got a major-league brushback. The Obama aide “yelled at me for about a half hour,” Woodward told us in an hour-long interview yesterday around the Georgetown dining room table where so many generations of Washington’s powerful have spilled their secrets.

Digging into one of his famous folders, Woodward said the tirade was followed by a page-long email from the aide, one of the four or five administration officials most closely involved in the fiscal negotiations with the Hill. “I apologize for raising my voice in our conversation today,” the official typed. “You’re focusing on a few specific trees that give a very wrong impression of the forest. But perhaps we will just not see eye to eye here. … I think you will regret staking out that claim.”

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.’ ”

Madness,” indeed.

Barack Obama has spent the entire week lying about the consequences of the sequester, which Woodward reports and Congressional sources verify was personally approved by the president. What happens when March 1 comes and the so-called cuts kick in and the sky does not fall?

Barack Obama will have all the credibility of the Mayan calendar that told us the world would end last December.

Woodward stands in the way of Obama’s escape path — blame it all on Republicans. Obama’s fans know that his credibility is very much on the line. They’re savaging Bob Woodward tonight.



Listen for the sound of drones lurking over the Beltway for the next couple of days.

Update: BuzzFeed reports that the senior White House official who sent the “you’ll regret this” email to Bob Woodward is Gene Sperling.

Update: Online, JournoList 2.0 seems to have arisen as Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall, Matt Yglesias, Dave Weigel, and the BuzzFeed crew are all making the story about Woodward and not about the threat. They’re also laying the groundwork to argue over the meaning of “regret.” The Democrats’ playbook is very small indeed. We’re back to the bad old days of Bill Clinton fiddling over the meaning of “is.”

Update: Problem with the “It wasn’t a threat” line: Sperling has a history of threatening behavior toward reporters.

Update: The Obama White House went here tonight:

More: Lapdog Media Wag Tails In Overdrive To Defend Team Lightbringer Against Woodward