Not being one to jump on the current topic du jour, we could not pass up this one. The Obama Administration picks a major fight with the most famous journalist in America -- and we are not speaking about Bill O’Reilly or Ron Burgundy. It is rarely a good thing for political leaders to jump into hand-to-hand combat with the press.
Bob Woodward has been a liberal icon for forty years. After all, Woodward and Bernstein were the principals in bringing down the all-time boogie man of the left – Richard Nixon. How can you question a man played by Robert Redford in the movie about the whole escapade? How could anyone ever envision anything that would damage his reputation short of kidnapping Susan Sarandon? This guy could have driven a Hummer and never been questioned by the intellectual left. That is, until he decided to take on the Obama Administration.
As you are properly aware, Woodward had the goods on Obama. As the President was running around screaming fire in a movie theater about the dreaded sequester and blaming the whole thing on his political enemies, Woodward pointed out that Obama and his aides had told Woodward two years ago that they were the brain trust behind the plan. Back then Obama and his crew thought it was a brilliant way to box in the Republicans regarding the ever-growing federal expenditures. (We would refer to it as the “budget,” but Obama and his team have not allowed one to be passed in four years.)
Once Woodward tells the truth he begins to experience an Obama backlash. He has a 30-minute discussion with Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council, which by even Sperling’s description turned into a screaming match. As part of an email exchange, Sperling writes “I think you will regret staking out that claim.”
There has been a lot of discussion and analysis of the email exchange and whether it was a threat. The left and even some mainstream and conservative commentators concluded Woodward’s reaction was out of line. That is not the way we see it. We are not going to analyze the word play. We are going to ride with Woodward. Here is a man who confronted the Nixon Administration and brought it down. He has reported on all aspects of our federal government and presidential administrations for forty years. He has written over fifteen books on such matters. He has had a relationship with Gene Sperling for twenty years. If Woodward says it was an attempt to intimidate him, we should take him at his word. He was the one there and he should know.
It goes deeper than that. We are not one month into the second term of the Obama Administration and their heavy-handed methods. After four years of Fox News being the only ones investigating the Obama Administration and being bullied, the rest of the press is finally speaking out about the anti-press methods of this Administration. Lanny Davis, former special counsel to President Clinton, came out and told of how his editor was advised to stop running Davis’s columns or the paper’s White House credentials would be pulled. In his interview on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show, Woodward stated “I am flooded with emails from people in the press saying this is exactly how the White House works. They are trying to control and they don’t want to be challenged or crossed.”
Make no mistake; Bob Woodward is still a man of the left. After being taken to task by Gene Sperling, he still made this statement: “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 going to regret challenging us.’” Mr. Woodward, on this point you are delusional. This comes straight from Obama. That is why we read and reported on Saul Alinsky’s book Rules for Radicals. These tactics and the ones the President is embracing on a daily basis come straight from the book – threaten your opponent, demonize your opponent and if need be pulverize them. This has Obama written all over it. This is what they did in the campaign and, now free from having to face voters again, this is what appears to be their plan for the second term.
The redeeming factor of this matter is that the national press may have finally come alive. They ignored Benghazi. They ignored Obama’s fundraising peccadillos. They helped to get him re-elected by swooning over him. Now maybe they might actually do their job and expose this President as the inept bully he has become.