When I went to bed last night, Bob Woodward was on record claiming that he had been “threatened” by a senior official in the Obama White House, for his statements on the origin of the sequestration deal.
Today Politico published the email exchange between Woodward and Obama’s economic adviser Gene Sperling, and there was no threat. In fact, the emails are amazingly cordial, and Woodward himself clearly understood this and responded with no indication at all that he felt “threatened:” Exclusive: The Woodward, Sperling Emails Revealed.
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.
Folks, that is absolutely not a “threat,” in any sense of the word. It’s a disagreement. And Woodward knew this.
From Woodward to Sperling on Feb. 23, 2013
Gene: You do not ever have to apologize to me. You get wound up because you are making your points and you believe them. This is all part of a serious discussion. I for one welcome a little heat; there should more given the importance. I also welcome your personal advice. I am listening. I know you lived all this. My partial advantage is that I talked extensively with all involved. I am traveling and will try to reach you after 3 pm today. Best, Bob
But here’s how Woodward portrayed the email to Politico last night:
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.’”
It’s really unbelievable that a journalist with Bob Woodward’s reputation would try to pull something so obviously fraudulent. He clearly took no offense at all from Sperling’s email at the time — why should he? There’s nothing threatening about it. But then he went to the press and made these wild claims about threats, even though he must have known the emails would come out and prove him a liar.
What a disgrace.
Meanwhile, the dead-enders at Breitbart.com are still stupidly hyping Woodward’s obviously false claim, of course, with the usual “angry black man” photo carefully chosen to infuriate their knuckle-dragging followers, and a huge honking typo in the first sentence: WOODWARD EMAILS BACK CLAIM OF WHITE HOUSE INTIMIDATION!!!
Absolutely pitiful. This is why Breitbart.com has become such a laughingstock — they lie about President Obama even when the truth is plainly obvious.