It's most gratifying that people are beginning to wake up to the bullying tactics of the White House toward those in the press who occasionally stray from the government-owned media model, but this has been going on for a while.
Veteran reporter Bob Woodward has said in interviews with Politico and CNN that a White House official warned him he would "regret" publishing a story reporting that the sequestration was President Obama's idea.
"(The White House aide) yelled at me for about a half-hour," said Woodward. The aide later apologized to Woodward in an email and claimed he was not making a threat but merely observing that Woodward would regret "staking out that claim."
Does the aide's story sound credible in light of the context? He was yelling at Woodward, not making a casual observation about Woodward's journalistic accuracy. Why? Because Woodward's account undermines Obama's credibility on the story dominating the political landscape now: the sequestration.
Obama is on another campaign tour, jetting about the nation on the people's dime, accusing Republicans of putting the nation's essential services in jeopardy because they want to protect the rich.
In fact, Republicans have already compromised on raising taxes on the "wealthy," and it is Obama who won't move from his intransigent position, refusing to make spending cuts and reform entitlements. It is simply undeniable that it is Obama who is changing the rules in the middle of the game; tax increases were not to be part of the sequester cuts, and Woodward's reporting confirms this.
Similarly, former Bill Clinton aide Lanny Davis, an Obama supporter, said that a White House official once threatened to revoke The Washington Times' White House credentials over columns Davis had written for the paper. "I couldn't imagine why this call was made," said Davis.
These accounts of White House press intimidation are nothing new. In my books Crimes Against Liberty and The Great Destroyer, I chronicle many other examples of this practice, which is especially bizarre given the unprecedented support the media have lavished upon Obama. Could fear of reprisals be part of the reason?
Let me share a few of the examples.