Veteran journalist Bob Woodward appeared on Fox News Thursday to address his claim that the Obama White House sent him an intimidating email telling him he would “regret” his reporting on the sequester. He told host Sean Hannity that he didn’t actually feel “threatened” but added that it is still “inappropriate” for the White House to interact with members of the press in such an intimidating manner.
The White House official who sent Woodward the email in question has since been identified as Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council. Woodward explained that Sperling yelled at him for about half an hour and was “really worked up” about his reporting. Sperling later sent the email and apologized for raising his voice but also included the “regret” remark.
Woodward argued that Sperling’s behavior is “not the way to operate in a White House.” The journalist did make it a point to say he didn’t feel personally threatened by Sperling’s remarks.
The purpose behind his reporting on the sequester, Woodward explained, was to show that the Obama administration was misleading the public about whose idea it really was.
Hannity then asked Woodward point-blank whether or not the Obama White House “lied” about the sequester.
“I’m not going to use words like that,” he replied. “We need to tune down the rhetoric here. Out in the great public… they’re wondering, you know, what the hell is going on here.”
On the media, Woodward said we like in a “hyper-partisan era.” He also said that Fox News is a “cornerstone of part of that partisanship.” He also blasted MSNBC staffers who support Obama and think “he can do no wrong.”
“My view…we’ve got to bring this back to the center so we can have a reasoned discussion as much as possible,” Woodward added.
Watch the interview via Fox News/Mediaite:
(H/T: Josh Feldman, Mediaite)