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Don't blame Woodward

Bob Woodward (Photo Credit: AP)

Whether or not you think the emails to Bob Woodward amounted to a "threat" from the Obama White House, one thing is certain: this wouldn't be the first time the president has tried to use pressure on reporters to shape their reporting.

(Image: Getty)

Reason's Mike Riggs recalls some of the Obama administration's most notoriously thin-skinned moments:

- There was the time the White House banned a San Francisco Chroniclereporter from the White House press pool for filming an anti-Obama protest at a fundraiser. The White House initially claimed it banned the reporter for using a camera when she was only allowed to write what she saw. Then the White House claimed it hadn't banned her at all. All very confusing and weird.

- There was the time the White House prohibited local journalists from covering a Silicon Valley fundraiser, presumably for fear that they'd be better equipped than D.C.-based pool reporters to recognize major players in the California tech scene.

- There was the time the White House denied the Boston Herald a spot in the press pool because it ran a front-page op-ed from Mitt Romney. While the White House later claimed the Boston Globe got the pool spot because it submitted its request first, that explanation doesn't jibe with this email from a White House staffer: "I tend to consider the degree to which papers have demonstrated to covering the White House regularly and fairly in determining local pool reporters." Loyalty has its rewards!

- There was the time an Orlando Sentinel reporter was made to sit in a closet at a fundraiser for Joe Biden.

Click here for more examples.

What has struck me most about the whole Woodward/threat scenario is how quickly the liberal left has been to throw Woodward under the bus.  I don't recall HuffPo labeling the esteemed journalist as a "drama king" when he questioned George W. Bush's war strategy...


The super un-biased Paul Krugman of the New York Timespiles on the criticism of Woodward:

So, after reading the Bob Woodward saga of the alleged “threat” from Gene Sperling, the White House supereconwonk, I went through my own correspondence with Gene, and couldn’t find anything threatening — although I guess you could read his injunction, at one point, to “take care” in an ominous tone of voice.

Hey, don’t I rate some proper intimidation?

But then, Woodward’s story is looking supremely silly too. Can Robert Redford unportray him, or star in a sequel titled “All the president’s crybabies”?

Dearest Krug, the White House might intimidate or threaten you -- that is, if you ever bothered to disagree with them on something.

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