NOTE: This post will be continually updated… Also, I’m not including open partisans in this list, like Josh Marshal of Talking Points Memo. Those listed below pose as “objective” journalists.
The media stands by its own, at least until one of its own upsets The Narrative. Not even a living legend is immune from this rule. In the case of Bob Woodward, his detailed and lengthy reporting on sequester has resulted in the possible derailing of the most crucial Narrative the White House and media are likely to launch this year. The fate of Obama’s second term and even his legacy rest on it.
The endgame of The Sequester Hustle is to blame the economy tanking on cutting less than 2% of the federal budget. Obama doesn’t want his failed first-term policies blamed for a double-dip recession, so he’s playing Chicken Little with sequester so the GOP and a lack of government largess are blamed. Naturally, the media is as all-in on this con as their Master is.
This, even though everyone knows it was Obama who suggested sequester, saw it passed, and then signed it into law.
Woodward’s reporting threatens to monkey wrench all of this. His reporting not only confirmed that sequester was Obama’s idea but that Obama moved the goal posts with his demand for tax increases. The original sequester deal did not include tax increases.
Yesterday, Woodward really threw the White House and its media a curve by being the only high-profile reporter willing to say out loud that Obama has the power to choose where the cuts hit. In other words, all this White House fear-mongering is an audacious lie.
Though no one’s disputed Woodward’s reporting, the media’s Cult of Obama began pushing back against the Watergate legend even before he dropped the bomb last night that he had been told by a top White House official he would “regret” his reporting.
But when that news hit, many in media immediately chose to protect Obama by ridiculing Woodward, questioning his motives, and/or dismissing his reporting.
Meet the members of the Cult of Obama…
Politico White House reporter Glenn Thrush:
Wonder if Woodward has humped up his book sales from GOPers, ie Amity Schlaes
— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) February 28, 2013
BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith:
Wish I could claim credit for this observation by a friend: “In which Bob Woodward shows he too can master the new media landscape”
— Ben Smith (@BuzzFeedBen) February 28, 2013
Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg:
Hezbollah is intimidating. Gene Sperling writing, “I think you will regret staking out that claim” is not intimidating. cc: @buzzfeedben
— Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg) February 28, 2013
Politico’s Maggie Haberman and Alex Burns:
— maggie haberman (@maggiepolitico) February 28, 2013
— Slate’s Dave Weigel:
Theory: Woodward is trolling @pareene
— daveweigel (@daveweigel) February 28, 2013
— John Harwood:
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) February 28, 2013
Frum Forum’s Justin Green:
— Justin Green (@JGreenDC) February 28, 2013
Texas Tribune editor-in-chief Evan Smith:
This is the threat?! Please. politico.com/story/2013/02/…
— Evan Smith (@evanasmith) February 28, 2013
Time Magazine‘s senior national correspondent Michael Grunwald:
“I don’t understand this White House,” Woodward said. He’s right about that.
— Michael Grunwald (@MikeGrunwald) February 28, 2013
On “The Daily Rundown,” Chuck Todd and Politico’s Manu Raji agree: “Hard to see intimidation” in the White House email.
Former L.A. Times reporter Steve Weinstein:
Bob Woodward is senile. Or maybe he is encouraging President Obama to break the law so he can be relevant again with an expose.
— Steve Weinstein (@steveweinstein) February 27, 2013
NOTE: This post has been updated. Woodward did not claim to be threatened by the White House. That language has been used by the media. One reference to “threat” has been rewritten in this piece to accurately reflect Woodward’s statement.