There’s major push back from the White House and supportive media this morning over whether Bob Woodward was “threatened,” with the emails indicating that the “you will regret” language came in a broader email. The defense of the White House is pretty typical, try to isolate not only the dissenter but also the language.
Woodward took the “you will regret” language as crossing the line after a heated conversation with White House official Gene Sperling, and after a week of the administration orchestrating attacks on Woodward. The “you will regret” language can’t be viewed in isolation — indeed Woodward in his explanations as to how he took the language didn’t view it in isolation, but as part of the overall campaign to isolate him.
Woodward was pretty clear about the context of the “you will regret” language prior to the emails being released, and the emails do little to change the context described by Woodward:
You can dispute whether this was a threat, but the release of the emails, which is being greeted by Obama defenders with great fanfare, really doesn’t change the story.
Another thing that has not changed is that Woodward was right about the subject of the yelling and “you will regret” verbiage, that the White House has moved the goal posts. Woodward was being attacked in the mainstream media and left-blogosphere long before the “you will regret” language was used.
And it all was in the context of politically defending the White House against any facts that would tend to negate the hyperbole and fear-mongering over the sequester. The goal posts were moved by the White House, and attacking the messenger Woodward has been part of the strategy from the get-go.
Video via Free Beacon:
UPDATE — It’s not just Bob Woodward who receives the treatment, Lanny Davis: White House told Washington Times to stop running my column or else…:
Listen to the entire audio, Davis discussed how he called the White House to complain about the threat, and was promised it would never happen again. You don’t make that promise unless it happened.
The swiftness with which the so-called journalists moved to defend Obama is amazing.
If a reporter’s in a dust-up w/ a powerful politician & your first reflex is to side with the pol, you’re not a journalist, you’re a flack.
— Jon Gabriel (@ExJon) February 28, 2013