Color me prescient — Woodward in the crosshairs


Fortune teller

Yesterday, regarding Bob Woodward’s openly stated claims that Obama’s White House bullied him and that Obama’s conduct amounts to madness, I made this prediction:

Woodward is very much mistaken if he thinks the current generation of media types will support him in the long run, if he continues to attack Obama.  If he doesn’t step back and start to toe the party line, the Obamabots in the media will shred his reputation, blackmail him (if they can), and generally reduce him to Sarah Palinesque pariah status.

Honestly, it wasn’t that impressive a prediction because it falls in the same category as predicting that the sun will rise tomorrow in the east or that water will . . . wait for it . . . flow downhill.  Still, to the extent I made a prediction, I’m pleased to report that I was absolutely correct.

Obama “senior advisor” David Plouffe went on Twitter to say that Woodward has become too old to matter.  Other current generation reporters, the ones who confuse sycophantic propaganda with old-style investigative reporting, were equally vicious and/or dismissive of this one-time journalism icon.

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 threatened by a top White House official.

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

The above is just a small sampling of the media push back against once of their own who “went rogue.”  You really need to read all of them to understand how quickly a Democrat icon can become Sarah Palin if he is deemed a heretic.  (And I use the word “heretic” deliberately, with all its religious connotations, because what we’re seeing here is a religion, with Obama as the God-head.)

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  • Ymarsakar

    Evil is not hard to predict. It’s just that all too many refuse to believe it even exists, especially in their own heart and in their own neighborhood and social circle. It can’t happen here. It’s always them “other” people that got the “evil”, people think.

  • Ymarsakar

    Woodward perhaps believed he was a free agent, when in fact he was merely the FBI man’s weapon against Nixon, an enemy of some FBI guys Nixon refused to promote.
    If Woodward and other cannonfodder like him thought that they could use the powers of personal destruction against politicians, but that those politicians won’t do the same thing to them, he was very very wrong. Nixon resigned because the media were too powerful an enemy for him, given his other issues. Meanwhile, those FBI agents orchestrating the real crimes against humanity were raised as golden boys.
    To be part of such a black op, and think he was going to be “allowed” to bare his fangs against his Masters… such foolishness on Woodward’s part. You do not talk back to the Master on a slave plantation. It is just not done. No matter how highly you “deem” yourself as an overseer.

  • Charles Martel

    It will be interesting to watch what unfolds here: Woodward, an icon of the left, the man who helped bring down the evil Richard Nixon, has been openly dissed and threatened by a greater icon of the left. 
    One thing to look for is whether some eyes will be opened. Journalists who have been uncomfortable at their lapdog status may come to Woodward’s defense, but I doubt that there will be many of them or that they’ll make much headway. Their House Negro peers, too ensconced on the Demo plantation to change, will greet them with silence and indifference. Nothing to see here, folks!
    Another thing to look for will be whether Woodward has a “Darkness at Noon” crisis where he comes to doubt his own doubts and accedes to the Party’s demands for sacrifice in the name of the greater good. I don’t envy the man, who has lived for decades in a heady atmosphere of adulation, utter certitude, and the invigorating knowledge that many see him as a key figure in modern American history. To have that challenged by a thug whom one’s peers openly adore and front for has to be a bitter thing.

  • Pingback: Woodward on the Obama White House and Sequestration: “A kind of madness I haven’t seen in a long time.” | Bring the heat, Bring the Stupid()

  • Libby

    It certainly is inconvenient that Woodward published a book last fall detailing the sequestration deal (no doubt meticulously researched and supported with hours of interviews). Makes it so much harder for them to demand a retraction, printed correction, or edited story posted online.
    Woodward has been the closest thing to a god for journalists for decades – he brought a president down with his stories!11!  It will be a pleasure to see so many of those who have idolized him attempt to destroy the man who has embodied their creed of Speak Truth to Power!, Dissent is the Highest Form of Patriotism!, and Comfort the Afflicted & Afflict the Comfortable! Perfect way to confirm which publications and journalists are the most aligned with the Obama administration. I think they’ve taken on a bigger fish than they can handle.

  • Ymarsakar

    A reasonable person, I believe a lawyer here from before, once mentioned that if I attribute all the bad and evil people to the Left, then it was merely a myopic personal subjective definition. Since anyone evil or bad would be part of the Left.
    I told them him that it wasn’t me who defined who gets to be a good member of the Leftist alliance. The Left culls its members as brutally as a death cult culls itself for CIA/FBI spies. I didn’t have to lift a finger to get people on the Left. The Left knew their own, and if you attempted to step outside it, you would be punished and forced back. If you continue to resist, they will burn you at the stake as a heretic.
    Compared to that, what do I need to do to “herd” in Leftists in their own alliance? Nothing. They do it for me.
    The fact that “reasonable” people couldn’t even figure that simple operational parameter out, says something about the Left’s success with mass hallucination. Too many are fooled into thinking the Left is some kind of political alliance, rather than an alliance of evil with evil.
    The Left’s internal security is very good. Perhaps better than the US’s. Certainly they would never have allowed “infiltrators” in the way we let the 9/11 terrorists in, free to operate. They would have smashed, raped, and killed those “infiltrators” when they felt like it. Drones, bombs, hate speech, SEIU mobs, black panther thug gangs, whatever it took to FORCE you in line. Or bury you alive.

  • Mike Devx

    John Stossel used to to be on the reservation.  He stepped off of it and gladly toils in the wilderness, these days.  He’s having fun and doing well.
    Jake Tapper still does some good, objective work.  I think he’s within the belly of the beast at ABC.  Journalists at the Boston Globe often still seem to be trying to be objective.
    There are a few others, not many, whose names are not tarnished for me.  Woodward is one of them. Yes, he’s a lib.  But he has always seemed to report on every Administration in the same manner.  One wonders what Woodward thinks of the state of his profession these days.  It’s commendable that I as a very interested observer don’t know; Woodward keeps his real opinions mostly to himself.
    Mr. Woodward’s cardinal Sin – a great sin! – is not his attempted admirable objectivity.  No, his great Sin is that he has violated THE NARRATIVE.  The Great Narrative of the Chosen One.  The rest of the lackey mainstream media don’t mind his objectivity, so long as it remains harmless to their goals.  But to Violate The Narrative – NO! That is going too far!
    And so Mr. Woodward, sadly for them, must be reined in.  And he must be taught a harsh lesson.  The lesson, and the pain, is not really directed at him.  It is directed at all the other less-powerful journalists.  THEY must be kept on the reservation at all costs.  THEY must toe the line – or tow the line, which may be the more appropriate idiom these days!  After all, the mainstream media does most of the heavy work, or “towing the line” to keep that narrative boat headed in the right direction!
    No, bringing Woodward to heel, pulling his teeth, is to be an object lesson for the other, less-powerful young journalists-in-training.  They might have pretensions of following in Woodward’s footsteps, and they might find his objectivity admirable.  We Must Not Have That!  It Must Not Be ALLOWED!
    As Charles M likes to say, grab your popcorn and settle in the couch.  It’s going to be a fun show.

  • jj

    Charles – wouldn’t it be nice if, after all these years, Woodward’s own eyes would be opened?  In his comments he went on to say that he was quite sure if Obama knew about this email from this senior white house official. he’d stop it.
    Sure he would, Bob: it’s not like he’s a veteran of Chicago politics or anything.  Not like he takes advantage of any weakness he can spot or invent.  Not like he maintains a stable of attack dogs or anything.  He didn’t appoint famous backroom arm-twister, dirty-dealer, never-waste-a-crisis professional shitweasel Rahm Emmanuel as his chief of staff or anything, did he?  Nah, of course not – that was three other guys, not Obama.  If Obama knew about this he’d put a stop to it!
    Wake up, Bob!  How many years can you go with your cranium wedged firmly inside your fundament?  You haven’t noticed you’re already surrounded by his allies?  The same gang that did in Palin, has worked assiduously to do in guys like Beck and Limbaugh via boycotts and whatever else they could cvome up with?  You haven’t noticed that you’re already being marginalized as old, past it, senile, and generally dopey, so nothing you ever say in future will be taken seriously?
    Smell the coffee, Bob-o!  Never too late to pull your head out, Bobby – but you have to notice the problem first.  “If he knew about it he’d put a stop to it.”  Jee-zus Kee-rist!  You’ve flummoxed me, Bobby old boy, I don’t begin to know how to address someone as invincibly naive – which is a pretty good indicator of stupid – as you turn out to be.

  • raymondjelli

    As much as I hate to say it I don’t think this will amount to much.  Obama won in such a awful, awful economy that the normal rules don’t apply.  He is not a product of the Left as much as apathy towards a system not working. 
    With that being the case it is hard to believe anyone will care what happens to Bob Woodward.  After all it is hard to believe anyone really cares about who Bob Woodward is and if he hadn’t been played by an actor once he’d be totally obscure by now. 
    The White House isn’t ageist about Bob Woodward.  It is accurate.  He is simply past his time.  He was hip once and not now and doesn’t realize that he’s past and other people are vying for his spot.  No journalist trying to make it to the top of the industry will defend him because they want to replace him. Personality journalism is the same thing as personality politics and they are joined at the hip and need each other.
    Bob Woodward to some extent helped create the myth of the journalist as cult personality so he is to blame to some extent.
    Bob Woodward is the old man on the corporate board that doesn’t realize the company isn’t going to slow down while he picks up his prescriptions, goes to the physical therapist and gets his nap.   

  • jj

    See?  How well they’re already succeeding? 

  • Libby

    “Bob Woodward is the old man on the corporate board that doesn’t realize the company isn’t going to slow down while he picks up his prescriptions, goes to the physical therapist and gets his nap.”
    Are you saying that we just need to ignore him because he’s not busy blogging, podcasting and tweeting? Are his has well-researched, detailed, insider accounts about important decisions & events that each president has faced suddenly no longer relevant? Or is the fact that his most recent book, “The Price of Politics,” contains a detailed account of the sequestration deal that contradicts what Obama has been saying in recent speeches? Sounds like you think facts and factual reporting are passe.

  • Charles Martel

    The topic here isn’t what’s going to happen to poor Bob Woodward, it’s whether a thug presidency can threaten the press with reprisals if it doesn’t toe the line. Given that Woodward is one of the few real journalists left in the mainstream media, it’s obvious that Obama intends not only to make sure that the lapdog American press remains compliant, but also to squash any notions among younger journalists that integrity or truth have much to do with success in their profession.

  • Charles Martel

    PS to my comment above: This link at PJMedia certainly confirms my suspicion that the meme of Bob Woodward’s senility/obsolescence/irrelevance seems to be the sanctioned thug response to his latest work:


  • Ymarsakar

    The power of the Left knows no bounds.

  • Mike Devx

    raymondjelli, welcome! don’t think i’ve seen you around here before…
    Having welcomed you, now let me comment further.  You said:
    Bob Woodward is the old man on the corporate board that doesn’t realize the company isn’t going to slow down while he picks up his prescriptions, goes to the physical therapist and gets his nap.  
    Can you explain why you think this comment of yours correctly describes Bob Woodward?
    If the only thing you can come up with is that he’s 69, and therefore… old…
    Yes, that would be Agism.  I won’t say, shame on you, yet!  You might have a perfectly valid reason for what you said.  But you haven’t offered that valid reason yet.

    Charles M, your link in #13 is a pure delight.  I laughed out loud reading the list!  David Plouffe has certainly opened one big can of worms for the Obama Acolytes to have to deal with.

  • Danny Lemieux

    * crickets *

  • raymondjelli

    I’m not attacking Bob Woodward.  I’m simply saying this is how the press will view him. The Cult of Personality and Popularity that allows an Obama to be a media creation also means that reporters have become more loyal to their image and reader demographics than to their body of work. 
    All The President’s Men had a role in that.  Now as an older man he doesn’t have any glamor and will be pushed aside by those who believe they have glamor and popularity and should be the story even if they themselves are the reporter. I don’t feel all that sorry for Bob Woodward even if he did good work. He allowed Deep Throat to be Hal Holbrooke and not the man Deep Throat actually was.  When you allow reality to be distorted when you are a reporter be prepared to deal with a distorted reality.

  • Mike Devx

    Thank you for the clarification, raymondjelli.
    My own viewpoint is that Woodward remains relevant, and it appears to me that he has a reasonably large number of people who trust him, and who continue to find him trustworthy and an important journalist.
    I have a further comment about Woodward being pushed aside: I don’t think age or glamor or popularity matters here.  Someone is always on top; and there’s always someone else out there, not on top (yet), highly ambitious and with a burning desire to shove em off the top dog spot and take their place.
    Shoot, look at Adele.  She’s arguably at the top in popular music, and she’s only 23.  She displaced Lady Gaga.  I never understood the Gaga appeal.  I’ve sampled Adele’s music, and while I find it higher in quality than Lady Gaga,  for the life of me I don’t understand why Adele is so huge.  I think she’s good enough for reasonable popularity, but not THAT good.  But she is on top right now.  And someone is definitely angling, right now, to take her place.


    “Woodward too old ….” but not Betty White. I am so confused – didn’t they both endorse Obama.

  • Caped Crusader

    None of this would be happening to Woodward  —“If only the Fuhrer knew!” (Germany 1930’s)—YEAH, RIGHT!

  • raymondjelli

    I actually hope that the people who think this will damage the administration are correct but I just don’t see that happening.  It might make Obama a little less fashionable post-Presidency but I doubt that too.
    Sorry for the confusion with my comments but if you can write like an Obamabot you can piece together what drives an Obamabot.  I indulge that.  I use to write all kinds Marxist stupidities on his campaign website the first time he ran and see if anyone actually cared. The only negative responses were that I didn’t think Obama would bring Communism immediately around through his election ( I modeled myself as a true hardcore Marxist) and that was oh so wrong.