JournoList's curious blind spot for White House thuggery
This sort of story has been bubbling around the Beltway for years. I gather every White House can have its moments, but this one is particularly thin-skinned and willing to intimidate reporters, knowing full well they'll never tie it into a "thug" narrative.
Lanny Davis joined the club with his own thug story, saying his editor at the Washington Times got a threatening call from a senior White House official (Gene Sperling?) who said the paper's press credentials might get pulled over some columns Davis wrote. Davis says he's an Obama supporter and "couldn't imagine why this call was made." I love that little golly-what-came-over-them? codicil.
Two things that still bug me about the Woodward denoument:
1. At the beginning of all this, Woodward wasn't coming out of the woodwork to drop some new bombshell revelation on Team Obama; he was referring to a passage in a book he published half a year ago, The Price of Politics. Wasn't that book a best-seller? Did none of the JournoListers read it?
2. There's a lot of JournoList crowing about how Woodward's a big baby because Sperling's "threat" wasn't very menacing. Leaving aside the obvious point that these lefty reporters would all feel very, very differently about the identical verbiage if it came from a Republican official - remember the "reign of terror" Ari Fleischer, Bush's press secretary, supposedly brought down by merely suggesting that comedians should watch what they said after 9/11? - didn't the Sperling emails confirm that he was shouting at Woodward over the phone? The emails include his apology for doing so. Wasn't that intimidating, and do these lib "journalist" punks expect us to believe they'd casually blow off such a tongue-lashing from a GOP official?