Bob Woodward jumps the shark

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

How sad. . . it's official, the Washington Post's Bob Woodward has jumped the shark. Bob Woodward: White House said I would ‘regret’ pursuing story:

Jumping-the-sharkLongtime Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward is taking on the White House, saying in multiple interviews that the administration essentially threatened him to try to get him not to write a story.

Politico [Tiger Beat on The Potomac] has an interview with Woodward and his correspondence with top Obama economic adviser Gene Sperling, in which Sperling apologizes for raising his voice at Woodward in a phone call but then proceeds to say Woodward would “regret” it if he pursued his story — about whether Obama had moved the goalposts on the sequester.

“But I do truly believe you should rethink your comment about saying that Potus asking for revenues is moving the goal post,” Sperling said in the e-mail obtained by Politico. “I know you may not believe this, but as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim.”

Woodward, who didn’t name Sperling in his interviews, which occurred before the actual e-mails came out, said that last sentence amounted to a thinly veiled threat.

Of what exactly? Woodward does not say. What is Sperling going to do, take away his birthdays?

I think it is pretty clear from the context that Gene Sperling was trying to waive Bob off from making a fool of himself by taking an untenable position. Woodward has been roundly criticized for his opinion by other Washington pundits for being factually incorrect, to which he has demonstrated an unusual degree of sensitivity and pique to their criticism. Woodward is putting on airs by giving multiple interviews with fawning media villagers essentially huffing "how dare anyone question my reporting."

For moments like these, there is only one person to turn to for commentary, the brilliant Charles Pierce at Esquire. Things In Politico That Make Me Want To Guzzle Antifreeze, Part The Infinity:

I am looking out the window, fully expecting to see the two Presiding Geniuses of Tiger Beat On The Potomac floating gracefully above the Potomac, because they are plainly as puffed up as human beings can be without simply exploding on the spot. They were summoned to an undisclosed location where Bob Woodward is hiding because someone in the Obama administration pointed out that he might one day regret having been publicly stupid on the subject of the sequester, and Bob knows what that means. So, huddled in his bunker, fiddling with the knobs on the crystal set and eating cold Spaghetti-O's out of the can, Bob summoned two of the only reporters he knows who share the same level of self-delusion that he does.

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.'"

Jesus H. Christ on a two-picture deal, Bob, you got your ass kicked by Ezra Klein, let alone the White House. This is the guy who bravely walked into darkened parking garages in the dead of night to bring down a criminal president? He now believes himself "threatened" by Gene Fcking Sperling, because Sperling said Woodward was "going to regret" being wrong? Luckily, though, the two Presiding Geniuses are there to marvel at his "famous folders" and his "calm, instantly recognizable voice." (Ooooh, boys. To quote the late Mr. Zappa, gooey, dripping, steaming!) And Bob plays them like the two-dollar fiddles that they are. See, he's only in it for the kidz.

"I've tangled with lots of these people. But suppose there's a young reporter who's only had a couple of years – or 10 years' – experience and the White House is sending him an email saying, ‘You're going to regret this.' You know, tremble, tremble. I don't think it's the way to operate."

Oh, grow up, Louise.

* * *

But the Presiding Geniuses have his back – for example, like Woodward, they seem to have missed the fact that there was a rather decisive presidential election between the development of the sequester and the present day — and, like any good courtiers, they spread their cloaks on the ground before him.

Watching and now having interviewed Woodward, it is easy to see why White House officials get worked up about him. He clearly is skeptical of Obama's approach to the job. "I'm not sure he fully understands the power he has," Woodward said. "He sees that the power is the public megaphone going around to these campaign-like events, which is real, but the audience he needs to deal with is on this issue of the sequester and these budget issues is John Boehner and Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi."

Well, it's easy to see why the Presiding Geniuses get worked up about him. (Is it hard to type while wearing an overcoat?) I mean, wow, the president has to deal with Congress. Did Bob come up with that all by himself or did he need two independent sources? And what if, as is clearly the case, one House of Congress is controlled by unreasoning vandals? Don't ask Bob. He's not only a 'fraidy-cat. He's confuzled.

"Sit down and work through this," he said. "I can see exactly how you come up with a deal that would dispose of lots of things." Woodward, who helped bring down one presidency and has written instant history on every one since, added: "Color me a little baffled. I don't understand this White House. Do you?"

And then they all smoked a cigarette and sent out for moist towels.

You crack me up, Chuck.

UPDATE: Bwahahahaha! Conservatives Regret Taking Woodward’s ‘Threat’ Story Seriously.

UPDATE: From The Onion, Anonymous Source Informs Bob Woodward He Hasn't Been Relevant In 40 Years.