Skip to comments.USA Today reporter: I know a few reporters who’ve gotten White House e-mails like Woodward's
Posted on 02/28/2013 7:20:11 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Noteworthy, although I'm not sure which way it cuts. Younger reporters were tweeting last night that they get angry e-mails from political flacks all the time and that it's no big deal, which is a nifty way to humblebrag about how they've upset Power by speaking Truth while also serving the liberal cause du jour of discrediting Bob Woodward. (Some serve more bravely than others.) Is that what David Jackson means here, that Woodward's blowing routine White House grumpiness out of all proportion? Or that Woodward's right and that veiled White House threats are more common than you’d think?
In a statement, the White House said that “of course no threat was intended. As Mr. Woodward noted, the email from the aide was sent to apologize for voices being raised in their previous conversation. The note suggested that Mr. Woodward would regret the observation he made regarding the sequester because that observation was inaccurate, nothing more. And Mr. Woodward responded to this aide’s email in a friendly manner.”
All we can say is: We know more than a few reporters have received similar e-mails from White House officials. Yelling has also been known to happen.
Tension between presidents, presidential aides, and the people who cover them is inherent and has been around as the government itself.
Just as I’m writing this, Politico’s posted what’s alleged to be the full e-mail exchange between Woodward and Sperling, no doubt courtesy of a leak from the latter’s office. Quote:
From Gene Sperling to Bob Woodward on Feb. 22, 2013
I apologize for raising my voice in our conversation today. My bad. I do understand your problems with a couple of our statements in the fall but feel on the other hand that you focus on a few specific trees that gives a very wrong perception of the forest. But perhaps we will just not see eye to eye here.
But 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 was an accepted part of the understanding from the start. Really. It was assumed by the Rs on the Supercommittee that came right after: it was assumed in the November-December 2012 negotiations. There may have been big disagreements over rates and ratios but that it was supposed to be replaced by entitlements and revenues of some form is not controversial. (Indeed, the discretionary savings amount from the Boehner-Obama negotiations were locked in in BCA: the sequester was just designed to force all back to table on entitlements and revenues.)
I agree there are more than one side to our first disagreement, but again think this latter issue is diffferent. Not out to argue and argue on this latter point. Just my sincere advice. Your call obviously.
My apologies again for raising my voice on the call with you. Feel bad about that and truly apologize.
Follow the link for Woodward’s supposed reply, which is also conciliatory and even has him saying “You do not ever have to apologize to me” and “I for one welcome a little heat.” Here’s how Woodward himself quoted the e-mail to Politico in their interview yesterday:
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 Washingtons 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. Youre 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. Youll regret. Come on, he said.
The fact that the “threat” came in the context of an apology seemed unusual even last night; as it is, if the leaked e-mail is accurate, Sperling actually apologized three separate times for getting loud and prefaced the “regret” part with “as a friend.” If he’s threatening him, rather than simply trying to steer him away from a wrong/unhelpful claim, it’s a threat so veiled I can’t see it. But stay tuned; Woodward’s set to appear on Hannity’s show tonight to address this, assuming he doesn’t so so elsewhere earlier in the day.
It’s going to be interesting to see if Woodward folds on this.
Wonder if the current crop of “journalists” in the MSM are beginning to realize that being sycophants to a dangerous petulant narcissist like Obama, was a bit silly and they will be rightly mocked and ridiculed forever?
uh oh.....THIS is gonna teach Barry not to leave them sitting in the WH press room while he jets off to play golf with Tiger Woods.
The White House attitude is to punish reporters they don’t like, and “Allahpundit” can’t figure out what it means. Keep giving the Obama cult the benefit of the doubt, while they keep slandering you anyway they can.
I wish some people would wake up.
The Obama Cult is a threat to freedom and the Constitution. Period.
I wonder how this explanation by the white hut jives with comments from Lannie Davis, hardly a GOP zealot, that his editor was told they would lose their press credentials if he did not moderate on some of the things he was writing for the Washington Times.
Yeah, sure, all these reporters still SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER after such threats from the Obama WH.
And that is why we had so many journalists expose Obama thugary and scandals and corruptions and yada yada yada .....
Give me a F^&* break.
“You’ll regret” coming from the administration is not scary at all. Right?
He will fold because he got an even bigger threat from his “employers”. If he ever wants to be seen doing his job again it’ll only be on FOX with Hannity, who’s losing viewers, by the way.
The other “threat” was from fellow “journalists” who told him “We get this all the time. What’s the matter? Are you not the big, tough reporter you claim to be? Suck it up, crybaby.”
I have no dog in this fight. The more Obama and his gang fight with the press, the better. I’m rooting for both sides here.
At some point near the end of his reign the media will draw out the long knives to see who can make a name for themselves...
It will be interesting to say the least...
Obama will be like a Tom Turkey ready to carve up....
Sissy Mathews will cry...
There is no justification for a government threatening anyone - the press or anyone else. If it doesn’t want to be embarrassed or caught in a lie, then they need to start behaving like adults (admittedly tough for this bunch of bandits).
The way to stop it is easy: Identify the Names involved.
B.S. In the days when we had an adversarial press interested in defending the people's 'right to know' ( that would be anytime a Republican occupied the White House) the above would be true.
What's different today is that the press operates as an extension of this administration. They've beome their propoganda oregan and their STILL treated like crap by obama and the STILL keep kissing his arse!
Bob Woodward is at the very pinnacle of journalism in DC and he's treated this way by a WH aide? I wonder why. Is it because they're afraid of him or because they so unafraid they actually hold him in contempt?
That was definintely a threatening email. When somebody goes on to say that its “Just their sincere advice” thats compounding the “you are going to regret this” carpola.
This is an “Earth to reporters” moment. Democrats are ruthless. Has anyone noticed how they will destroy with racism, any minority who dares utter anything conservative? You have to live in fear of personal destruction, IRS or criminal charges when the democrats hold power. This is well known on all levels.
“Gee, Mr. Woodward, at your age and with your illness unfortunately the latest guidelines will not approve that life saving drug for you.”
Nice store you have here. “My sincere advice” is that if you keep operating without some union partners giving you their input, “you are going to regret this”.
Yessum, it does have a familiar ring to it, doesn’t it?
I’m hoping that with Woodward leading, there is an avalanche of reporters coming forward reports of white house threats.
This isn’t the first we’ve heard of widescale threatening of the press. WorldNetdaily (wnd.com) has reported on it before.
“I have no dog in this fight. The more Obama and his gang fight with the press, the better. Im rooting for both sides here.”
Yes, it’s Pig Wrestling!
“At some point near the end of his reign the media will draw out the long knives to see who can make a name for themselves...”
I don’t know they will actually be able to do that and still present themselves as “respectable” opinionators for the next bit two socialist they will have to back. How would they say they were duped for 7 years when the evidence about the LIAR in Chief was there all 7 years?
A White House official has a yelling exchange with a renowned WP reporter. He realizes he may have overstepped the line. He writes an apology letter but includes a statement that Woodward would “regret” his story on how the sequester came about. Sperling stabs Woodward with a smile on his face while serving him cake and ice cream. The DC is full of nasty people.
It’s not scary how many reporters have been threatened. It’s scary how few. All the rest are such total sychophants the White House doesn’t believe they can get more fawning.
Wasn’t sure about the level of the threat in email until I learned the WH responded.
That they responded at all speaks volumes.