Skip to comments.NJ Chief: A senior WH official got so belligerent with me, I had to drop him as a source
Posted on 02/28/2013 12:36:28 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
Woodward, Lanny Davis, and now Ron Fournier. How come its the older, more established D.C. hands who are piping up about being strongarmed by the White House and not the younger, less established ones? Is it because the younguns have developed a thicker skin from being challenged more often? Because theyre small enough potatoes that Team Hopenchange doesnt bother wasting much time yelling at them? Because Woodward and Fournier are better positioned career-wise to challenge the White House? Or because younger liberal journos are team players for The One in a way that older reporters simply arent?
Anyway. Another ray of sunshine:
I decided to share this encounter because it might shed light on the increasingly toxic relationship between media and government, which is why the Woodward flap matters outside the Beltway
The official angered by my Woodward tweet sent me an indignant e-mail. Whats next, a Nazi analogy? the official wrote, chastising me for spreading bull**** like that I was not offended by the note, mild in comparison to past exchanges with this official. But it was the last straw in a relationship that had deteriorated.
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. You will regret staking out that claim, The Washington Post reporter was told
Once I moved back to daily reporting this year, the badgering intensified. I wrote Saturday night, asking the official to stop e-mailing me. The official wrote, challenging Woodward and my tweet. Get off your high horse and assess the facts, Ron, the official wrote.
He ends, as did Woodward and as any indictment of White House boorishness evidently must as a matter of professional obligation, by noting that St. Barack would surely frown upon such treatment even though Obama chooses to surround himself with people like Rahm Emanuel and Fourniers source and he not-so-secretly disdains the media despite their adulation of him. Lets pick a narrative, guys. Either (a) this sort of antagonism is wholly unremarkable for modern presidential administrations when dealing with the press behind the scenes, in which case theres no reason to assume Obama doesnt know or approve of it, or (b) it is remarkable in its nastiness, in which case either Obamas a much nastier customer than thought or hes lost control of his inner circle vis-a-vis media relations. Reasons Mike Riggs spent some time today compiling stories from the past few years about Obama lackeys freaking out or even cutting off access over coverage that threw a little sand in the gears of their image-management machine. Is that normal for the White House in eras past, or is it so crucially important to the Celebrity Presidency that his aides are forced to get a bit rougher with reporters than usual? Only the media knows, but between the risks of losing access, harming their careers, and hurting the cause, they have little incentive to come clean. You need someone like Woodward or Fournier whos well established and particularly pissed off to gain any insight. Otherwise, youll have to settle for hints:
Woodward himself is now toning things down a bit, per Erik Wemple at WaPo:
Pressed moments ago on whether hed ever used the term threat or threatened by the e-mail, Woodward responded, No, I have not .I am uncomfortable because it is not the way to operate, he said. When asked whether he felt thered be payback on this front, Woodward declined to get into that matter.
But there already has been payback, not from the White House but more broadly from what Matt Welch labels Planet Liberalism. NBCs now calling Woodward a temporary spokesman for one of the two major parties with not a hint of irony. Like Noah Rothman says, whether its Team O or just their fans in the media doing the dirty work, Woodward will end up regretting this.
Update: Via Josh Kraushaar, no threats, just a little reputational tear-down:
Inside the West Wing, Woodward is viewed, one top Democrat said, as a self-righteous kook, while an administration official said he has been going nuts for no good reason.
Either march to the drummer or crawl......Obama
Because the younger reporters are already lock step sell out marxists.
That ain’t nothing. I had the White Hut threaten me with ObamaCare, gun control, higher taxes, more spending and an ever growing government to look over me.
“Woodward, Fournier and Davis are and have always been just a bunch of GOP operatives.” - Ben Smith, Chuck Todd and the rest.
BHO2 doesn’t talk to reporters because he cannot stay on script, or within character, without making all those little verbal slip-ups that finger him as a usurper.
Ron Fournier is an in-the-tank socialist.
If he’s willing to say anything against the 0bamatrons, they’ve really gone beyond the pale.
Funny how libs LOVED Woodward when he went after Nixon, but now they think he’s a kook LOL..Woodward is only a “kook” when he shows what a Commie fruitcake the libs savior Obama is..if a Republican were in the White House and Woodward revealed the same email and conversation the left would hail Woodward a hero
I’ll bet that Woodward has filing cabinets labeled “O” that run to several drawers full of stuff that just might inspire our spineless congress to impeach the ‘one’. He is lobbing soft serves over the net here waiting to see what happens.
The tolerant left acting belligerent? Must be a vast right wing conspiracy...
Street thugs, just like a couple of other political parties that took power in Russia and Germany during the last century.
Having your enemies declared insane and then committed is one of the stock moves of the Bolsheviks during the whole USSR experiment.
Obama’s not even original. We’ll see if it works. Who’s crazier: the guy spending money, literally, like there is no tomorrow, or the guy pointing out that unless there is money for national defense, the rest of it is moot.
With that the Obama regime was recognized for what it really is ~ truly muderous!
He's got one of his women on the Supreme Court ~ the big gal from Harvard. She could be packing a Hamas suicide bomb belt under her gown and nobody would notice until it was too late.
I think the younger reporters, and maybe the older ones, know what they're dealing with and they fear death ~ up until now they haven't been talking!
The dems have had the media kissing their a$$ for too long. They are used to it. If the media steps out of line even a little, they act like a spoiled monarch who doesn’t get his way.
I agree. This guy has seen and heard it all and there is no way he just jumped into this without proof or an end game.
MSNBC Fake News, NBC and CBS "News", will ignore it; ABC "News" will edit a video of it to make Woodward look stupid; FNC will report it but allow a Dem operative to come on and rail against Fox; and CNN will stupidly look into the camera, blink and go, "Uhhhhhhhhhh.....".
Thank you Ernest.
As he ages, I look for Bob to begin to shake the long-time, seductive DC stardust off his shoulders and out of his eyes.....and return more and more to his solid middle-west roots. At least, I pray he does. This current flap may well be a sign.
We should stand behind him on this issue of Obama's administration's Chicago Way of thuggery, threats, revenge and character assassination.
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