What began as an economic story has ended up a story about the free press and the stand over tactics of the Obama White House.
Bob Woodward said this evening on CNN that a ‘very senior person’ at the White House warned him in an email that he would ‘regret doing this,’ the same day he has continued to slam President Barack Obama over the looming forced cuts known as the sequester.
CNN host Wolf Blitzer said that the network invited a White House official to debate Woodward on-air, but the White House declined.
‘It makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters, “You’re going to regret doing something that you believe in,”‘ Woodward said.
‘I think they’re confused,’ Woodward said of the White House’s pushback on his reporting.
Earlier today on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe,’ Woodward ripped into Obama in what has become an ongoing feud between the veteran Washington Post journalist and the White House. Woodward said Obama was showing a ‘kind of madness I haven’t seen in a long time’ for a decision not to deploy an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf because of budget concerns.
What is unknown is the extent to which this use of threats to suppress bad news is routine in this White House or an anomaly. But it would be odd if the first use of such threats were made to possibly the single most respected mainstream journalist in the United States. More likely is that they have finally found the one person of integrity who would not buckle under such pressure who has instead brought this issue into the light.
How someone of the standing of a Bob Woodward would be made “to regret” publishing his views is an interesting issue in itself. In this instance, he’s told the White House to take a hike. This is not likely to be the end of this particular tale. More hopefully, it is the beginning of the end of the hold the Obama administration has had over the media in the US which will at least now become somewhat more forthcoming about just how dreadful the policies of this presidency have been.
A Graphical Representation of What the Cuts are About:
[Thanks to SmallDeadAnimals]