White House Senior Official Blasts Top Editor for 'Spreading Bullshit' [UPDATED]

Lighten up, Francis! ||| Pete Souza, Whitehouse.govPete Souza, Whitehouse.govThe kerfuffle over Bob Woodward's spat with White House economics adviser Gene Sperling had already reached the meta-meta-meta stage by last night, but there is an underlying issue of interest here beyond the important original Woodward claim that the sequester originated with President Barack Obama no matter what Obama has said to the contrary. And that is, "threat" or no threat, this administration does seem particularly thin-skinned and badgery when it comes to reporters who criticize POTUS.

On that latter point, National Journal Editorial Director Ron Fournier has a new piece out detailing his fallout with a "senior White House official." Excerpt:

On Saturday, White House press secretary Jay Carney accused Woodward of being "willfully wrong" on a story holding the White House accountable for its part in a legislative gimmick called sequestration. [...]

I was struck by the fact that Carney's target has a particular history with White House attacks. I tweeted: "Obama White House: Woodward is 'willfully wrong.' Huh-what did Nixon White House have to say about Woodward?" [...]

[A senior White House] official angered by my Woodward tweet sent me an indignant e-mail. "What's next, a Nazi analogy?" the official wrote, chastising me for spreading "bull**** like that" I was not offended by the note, mild in comparison to past exchanges with this official. But it was the last straw in a relationship that had deteriorated.

As editor-in-chief of National Journal, I received several e-mails and telephone calls from this White House official filled with vulgarity, abusive language, and virtually the same phrase that Woodward called a veiled threat. "You will regret staking out that claim," The Washington Post reporter was told.

Once I moved back to daily reporting this year, the badgering intensified. I wrote Saturday night, asking the official to stop e-mailing me. The official wrote, challenging Woodward and my tweet. "Get off your high horse and assess the facts, Ron[.]"

Fournier, incredulous at "how thin-skinned and close-minded [Obama's] staff can be to criticism," characterizes this as "behavior that might intimidate less-experienced reporters, a reaction I personally witnessed in journalists covering the Obama administration."

Which are good things to keep in mind when reading output from the White House press corps.

UPDATE: I was wondering why former Clinton White House aide Lanny Davis was getting the pack-attack treatment on Twitter today; well, here's why:

Davis told WMAL that his editor, John Solomon, "received a phone call from a senior Obama White House official who didn't like some of my columns, even though I'm a supporter of Obama. I couldn't imagine why this call was made."  Davis says the Obama aide told Solomon, "that if he continued to run my columns, he would lose, or his reporters would lose their White House credentials." [...]

"He didn't take it seriously, because he didn't think that could ever happen.  He thought it was bluster," Davis told WMAL. "I called three senior people at the White House, and I said, 'I want this person to be told this can never happen again, and it's inappropriate.'  I got a call back from someone who was in the White House saying it will never happen again."

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  • BarryD||

    What's most frightening, really, is that a football seems to make Obama think only about giving blowjobs.

  • ||

    If that's what the blowjobs you get look like, your girl (or guy, NTTAWWT) is doing something wrong.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Don't make fun of BarryD's football-shaped penis, gB. It's not nice.

  • wareagle||

    maybe Ann Coulter should have talked to Ronnie and the rest of the WH press corps instead of Stossel and a bunch of students. On the other hand, couldn't happen to a more deserving group of sycophants.

  • Almanian!||

    this

  • AuH2O||

    And this is why this story could maybe hurt the administration.

    Obama's whole image is based on being "cool", in both the cultural and emotional senses of the word. His opponents may be screaming, screeching evil teabaggers, but he takes it all in stride. He never gets ruffled, and always seems in control of the room or situation.

    The one way to burst this image is for stuff to come out that his administration is actually very thin skinned, responding to even the slightest critique or disagreement with threats and profanity. His diehard supporters will forgive it (wouldn't you be mad if you had to deal with Rethuglicans?!), but it may lose him the American people and the US Today media (the low information voter stuff that just cares about colorful pictures and splashy headlines)

  • BelowTheRim||

    Don't you think that the Clint Eastwood situation would have already cast a light on this?

    People don't give a crap, they want to love Obama and for him to love them even as disengenous as it appears to be.

  • John||

    They do. It makes them feel good. The Reason staffer (was it Welch?) who said "I have always wanted to vote for a black man for President" captured the zeitgeist of the age.

  • Matt Welch||

    It was not Welch. I would have voted for Bob Barr in 2008, if I had voted. In 2012 I voted with enthusiasm for Gary Johnson.

  • Irish||

    Stop besmirching Welch's name, John.

  • John||

    My apologies Matt. But I meant it has a compliment to the guy who said it. Not many people can capture what is going on that well.

  • BakedPenguin||

    It was Timmeh C.

  • ||

    Your grape juice is fantastic, by the way.

  • Almanian!||

    LOL!

  • ||

    Keebler elves make better cookies!!!

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Thanks for the GJ2012 vote

  • RightNut||

    If memory serves, I believe that was Tim Cavanaugh. I'm to lazy to dig it up though.

  • RightNut||

    I lied about being lazy, 3s of searchNoJutsu produced this

  • Hugh Akston||

    It was Cavanaugh.

  • Irish||

    1. Who are you voting for in November? Barack Obama. All my life I've been waiting for a black president; Obama's not monumentally unqualified, and his solid-if-boring book at least had some unkind words for teachers unions. Also my kids like him.

    Goddammit, Cavanaugh.

  • John||

    Obama's not monumentally unqualified

    I shudder to think who Cavanaugh would think is monumentally unqualified.

  • ||

    Obama's not monumentally unqualified

    Talk about inadvertently damning with faint praise. "He's a HUUUGE fuckup, but not a monumental one."

  • Almanian!||

    not monumentally unqualified

    Wait, what? TIMMEH! How could you think that!?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    How big a monument are we talking about here?

  • GILMORE||

    YOU KEEP SAYING IT WAS WELCH AND I SWEAR YOU WILL REGRET IT YOU DISLOYAL FUCKSTICK!!

  • Cliché Bandit||

    John is going to lose his reason cocktail party access.

    The Kotchopus is NOT pleased!

  • wareagle||

    of course, the administration is thin-skinned. It's just one of many ways in which Obama is the opposite side of the coin to Sarah Palin - venal, marginally-experienced characters who whip supporters into a frenzy and opponents into frothing, neither can tolerate a dissenting word or shrug off a perceived slight.

    Difference is, most of the media thinks Palin is a step removed from Honey Boo Boo while Obama is black Jesus.

  • Irish||

    Obama is completely a media construct. He's been making nothing but mediocre speeches since 2009, yet every time he gives one of his bi-weekly mediocre speeches, the media claims that he was 'surprisingly flat.'

    The only reason people haven't realized he's not in any way eloquent is because the media acts like it's a shock every time he gives a terrible speech.

  • Almanian!||

    "Also, the unemployment rate is surprising, as are the growth numbers, number of new jobs created (or saved!), the country's debt to GDP ratio..."

    Who could have foreseen ANY of this??!

  • BarryD||

    Nobody. Nobody could have.

    Politicians and press have become Rand villains...

  • ||

    Or like they acted 'surprised' after that firs debate. I really can't understand how he came out of that. It was a bloody disgrace and unacceptable for an incumbent to be so utterly aloof and unprepared. He was knocked out and still won?

    They talk of his 'oratorical' skills as if he's effen Cicero. Nothing can be further from the truth. He's all style (if you want to call it that) and little substance.

  • Almanian!||

    I actually think Palin's been pretty resilient given the visciousness of the attacks on her.

    Whereas Obama's skin is like the pages of a Bible...full of religious qualities to outsiders, but none too thick.

  • John||

    And unlike Obama, Palin has been proven right about a few things.

  • Almanian!||

    This is also true

  • Almanian!||

    Plus I'd still bang the HELL outta Sarah Palin, like, all day. Obama? Not so much...NTTAWWT

  • John||

    I don't play on the other team, but if I ever did, Obama isn't going to be the guy who gets me to join that is for sure. Skinny, urkel looking little dweeb.

  • Drake||

    Of course they are thin-skinned. Nothing makes a liar more angry than being called a liar.

    I've seen it. When the lies are exposed, irrational undirected anger is always the result.

  • ||

    Drake, quoted for truth.

  • Ted S.||

    Why couldn't these stories have happened and come out four months ago?

  • RightNut||

    I still find it amazing that this imbecile managed to get elected twice. Politics isn't beanbag, or at least it wasn't until the press corp decided to give daily blowjobs to his majesty.

  • Rich||

    Don't you get it, RN?

    The fact that "this imbecile" managed to get elected twice proves he's a *genius*.

  • Jerryskids||

    When you look at what it takes to get elected, anybody qualified to win the job is supremely unqualified to hold the job. We want statesmen, we get politicians.

  • Raven Nation||

    He managed to get elected twice b/c you can't beat something with nothing.

  • RightNut||

    He managed to get elected twice b/c you can't beat nothing with nothing.

    Fixed

  • Raven Nation||

    I would argue that people perceived Obama has having something (whether he did or not being irrelevant).

  • Rich||

    Yep, "perception is reality", until reality bites you in the ass.

  • Pro Libertate||

    America: Just say no.

  • John||

    It amazes me what wusses the reporters are and what pathetic petty bullies the White House people are. Yelling and screaming? Cursing? You are kidding me? Why don't these people just laugh in their face? Or better yet punch one of the little douche bags out. Whatever criminal trouble you got into would be worth the publicity you got and the humiliation it would heap on the guy who got punched out.

    To give you an idea of how pathetic these people are, this douche bag is considered "a man's man" and a real "tough guy" in Washington. I am not kidding. Mr. "the court order says I can't live within a mile of a school" is considered a tough guy.

  • John||

  • Tony||

    It amazes me that you have the gall to even lift your head and open your pie-hole about the current administration after the vast incompetence and evil of the last one, which you supported at every step.

  • John||

    Someone is having a bad day shilling for Obama. Tony, do you need a hug?

  • phandaal||

    Just pat him on the head and send him home with some chicken soup. We'll try again tomorrow.

  • Irish||

    Don't bother arguing the point, Tony. Ad hominem attacks are pretty much all you're good at. You've got like one move.

  • wareagle||

    yes Tony, this is where the W fan club resides. You found us. Seriously?

  • BelowTheRim||

    You are a funny troll. I enjoy your brand of fail

  • DaveAnthony||

    DERP DERP DERP DERP

  • Loki||

    Awww, are your widdle feewings hurt that your messiah and his cronies true natures are being exposed? Poor widdle sockpuppet.

    And BOOOOOSSSSSSHHHHH!!!11!! is all you can come with as a retort? God you're pathetic.

  • ||

    Dude, not even Shrike is that pathetic.

  • GILMORE||

    Tony| 2.28.13 @ 12:04PM |#

    It amazes me that you have the gall ...

    BUSH WUZ WORSE SO AS LONG AS WE KEEP CHEERLEADING WE WILL SEE THIS ONE BEING MO BETTER

  • ||

    Ah, the two wrongs make a right argument. A classic. Drink up!

  • Tony||

    John is a partisan hypocrite par excellence. Stop defending him. At best he is the Red Me. Except much stupider.

  • Unindicted Co-conspirator||

    It's so adorable that you think other people are dumber than you.

  • Yar||

    I would think tape-recording and replaying a few of these screaming and cursing sessions would be a useful corrective for the press and great fun for the rest of us, even if it would be the particular reporter's last day on the WH beat. Is DC a two-party consent state for taping, or can just one person record a call?

  • R C Dean||

    Don't know, but having the DOJ come after you because you taped a screaming, abusive phone call FROM THE WHITE HOUSE would cement your place as a journalistic god.

  • Rich||

    "how thin-skinned and close-minded [Obama's] staff can be"

    RACIST!

  • ||

    Fournier, incredulous at "how thin-skinned and close-minded [Obama's] staff can be to criticism,"

    Yeah, I could have told you that, Ron.

    Oh man, it will be fucking epic if the press turns on him not for being a liar but for being a total butthurt asshole. Hey, I'll take it any way I can get it.

  • ||

    I'm getting excited that this might be a sign of some senior people like Woodward and Fournier saying they've had enough. As much as the press are a bunch of losers afraid of losing "access," the guys at the upper echelons have egos, and real investigative reporters are not afraid f being dicks (because that's how you get a story). There are still a few real media people out there, and it looks like they're starting to get pissy.

  • ||

    Maybe. Maybe. But that it's taken this long is still appalling. What happens when the next charismatic asshole comes along, but this time he/she's smarter and more competent? We're very lucky that Obama is a fucking idiot.

  • Pro Libertate||

    And that asshole will be a conservative who can swing enough of the military behind him. That's the irony. Sadly, we lose either way.

  • John||

    We're very lucky that Obama is a fucking idiot.

    Yes we are. The past five years has proven when the dictator comes he will have an Ivy League education and be one of the elite. IF he comes carrying a bible and from Alabama, the media will do what it can to stop him. If he comes from Harvard, they will be singing in the choir.

  • Pro Libertate||

    By totally destroying its credibility, the media won't be able to do shit when a true dictator arises.

  • John||

    Maybe. Certainly it is going to awfully entertaining to watch them all of the sudden rediscover their role as watch dogs when someone they don't like takes office.

  • ||

    Appalling that it's taken this long, but not surprising. All this whinging is suddenly happening because it's his final term.

    The real test will be if Pauli Krugnuts and Chris "Doughboy" Matthews abandon ship.

  • Brandon||

    I'm waiting on a Krugman column saying "You know, maybe we need a little less regulation, and we need to do something about all this debt, like I've been saying all along."

  • ||

    Exactly. Obama's shtick was transparent - excuse the pun. The next one is watching, and if he or she is smart, is taking notes from this hack.

  • John||

    It would be totally epic. I would like to think they have some sense of self worth and would eventually do that. Jesus Christ, he is a lame duck now. They don't have to re-elect him again. You would think they would want some of their self respect back. God knows Obama isn't going to give it to them. He will keep abusing them and walking over them as long as they let him get away with it.

  • Rich||

    Another fantasy is that there's a mole in the White House just waiting for the right moment to "set this fucker off".

  • RightNut||

    Do you think this is the first time this has happened. Sharyl Attkisson, the CBS reporter who was covering Benghazi was told to stop her investigation. Same thing with Fast and Furious. The press has shown time and again they will ignore one of their own being threatened or ignored if it means showing Obama in a bad light.

  • John||

    Woodward is an institution though. Atkisson is just a good hard working reporter. Woodward will be hard to destroy. People know him and know he is not a right wing hack and know he is anything but senile.

  • Yar||

    Yglesias today refers to Woodward as going "full wingnut" for repeating his story on Hannity. So, yes, while anyone with a memory longer than five minutes knows that Woodward is as blue as an ox in Minnesota, his demonization by Obama's PR corps has already begun.

  • John||

    They can say that. But I doubt many people will believe them. As I said in the AM thread, Yglesias and his ilk have no choice but to go after Woodward, they don't have any other marketable skills beyond shilling for Obama.

  • wareagle||

    shills, dogwashers, and acolytes vs. WaPo icon. I like Bobby's chances. And deeper well of ink.

  • ||

    Would people really put greater weight on a douche like Yglesias than a seasoned reporter with a substantial body of work like Woodward?

  • RightNut||

    I don't even understand why the press corp is going bonkers about the sequester being the White House's idea. It seemed fairly obvious to me that it was in 2011, since Democrats feared a default far more than Republicans.

  • Irish||

    The only people who listen to Yglesias are hardcore leftist drones. I hardly think the guy who brought down Nixon has to worry about Fatty McSadBeard.

  • Yar||

    It isn't just Yglesias. Any number of reporters are tripping over each other in the rush to pile on to Woodward. (See the earlier H&R post following MSM tweets from last night).

  • Irish||

    Yeah, and they're mostly people like Ezra Klein, Katrina Vanden Heuvel and Charles Pierce. Who fit snugly into the same category as Yglesias.

  • wareagle||

    Who fit snugly sMugly into the same category as Yglesias

  • SugarFree||

    It isn't just Yglesias.

    The quantity and similarity of the attacks are a sure sign of a better-hidden Journolist operating.

  • John||

    The quantity and similarity of the attacks are a sure sign of a better-hidden Journolist operating.

    I wonder if they let Weigel int his one.

  • SugarFree||

    They know better. Rat fucking has to be in-house.

  • John||

    Weigel is like the frat pledge who got way to drunk during Rush week and had to culled.

  • JW||

    The quantity and similarity of the attacks are a sure sign of a better-hidden Journolist operating.

    That kind of talk could get you thrown through a store-front window.

  • ||

    I hardly think the guy who brought down Nixon has to worry about Fatty McSadBeard.

    What has Andrew Sullivan been up to these days? He went very quiet following the election.

  • John||

    Still investigating Sarah Palin's vagina would be my guess.

  • T||

    For a gay man, Sullivan sure spent a lot of time obsessing over Palin's snatch. I mean, I'm straight and think she's attractive, and I guarantee you I haven't spent as much time thinking about her crotch as Sullivan.

  • John||

    She is a powerful, attractive woman. A lot of gay men just can't handle that.

  • Libertymike||

    It didn't stop Rock Hudson from being all fric and frac with Doris Day

  • Libertymike||

    John, how about it-was Doris Day, in her prime, more attractive than Sarah Palin?

    My Woodrowometer says Doris Day.

  • John||

    Doris Day. Doris was a babe back in the day. She had a killer body and aged quite well. Also, the whole goody goody image was just that. She was a lounge singer at like 17. Doris knew how to party and was probably one hell of a good time in her prime.

  • Killazontherun||

    Wasn't she the subject of the great, 'I knew her before she was a virgin' quip?

  • John||

    Yes, Killazontherun, she was. Her old band leader from when she was a teenager said that.

  • John||

    Yeah but Rock wasn't a self loathing gay man the way Sullivan is. Hudson was by all accounts a pretty normal guy. There is nothing normal about Sullivan.

  • Irish||

    Andrew Sullivan is unbelievably stupid. Do you remember his article 'Why Are Obama's Critic's So Dumb?' That's some solidly intellectual reporting, Andrew.

  • Libertymike||

    John, I think you are right about Rock.

    In a biography of John Wayne (I forget the author right now), the making of the movie The Undefeated was discussed. The movie was the only one in which the Duke and Rock appeared together. Roman Gabriel and Merlin Olsen also had roles in the movie.

    IIRC, the Duke took a liking to Rock and he would not have taken a liking to him if he thought Rock was a self loathing gay man. Sure, he thought Rock was putting some awful good manliness to waste and all, but, in the Duke's mind, that was Rock's decision.

    What I have always liked best about Wayne, is his core libertarian dececny.

  • John||

    Mike,

    If he were alive, Rock seemed like he would be a pretty good guy to hang around with gay or not. Sullivan just creeps me the fuck out.

  • Irish||

    I don't know why you guys are so obsessed with Andrew Sullivan being gay. Sullivan's problem is that he's a weirdo shithead who throws a hissy fit when Obama doesn't do well in a debate and was still talking about Sarah Palin in mid-2012, long after everyone else had lost any semblance of interest.

    He's an obsessive goon, his sexual orientation doesn't have anything to do with it.

  • John||

    True Irish. But I think his being a self loathing gay man is part of the reason why he is such an obsessive good.

  • Irish||

    Is he really self-loathing because he's gay? I've never seen any evidence of that. If anything his ego could use a little deflating.

  • John||

    Sullivan made his reputation in the 1990s arguing that gay men were totally outside the mainstream because they didn't embrace conservative Christian values. He was one of the first proponents of gay marriage. He thought it was a great idea because he felt that by opening the door to marriage it would turn gay men from decadent sodomites into law abiding good Christians. He claims to be a serious believing Catholic.

    Meanwhile, while he was doing all of this, he was found to be running personal ads for bareback anonymous gay sex with other HIV sufferers.

    Not that I begrudge him his illness or his sex life, but when you take all of that together, there is some fucked self loathing going on.

  • Brandybuck||

    But now the press no longer has an obligation to campaign for his reelection.

  • RightNut||

    Oh so now they'll start doing their jobs? I highly doubt it. Their is always the next election to think about for the Democratic shills that are the press corp.

  • Jam||

    The story here is how politicians don't want to take any credit for cutting (future) government. That is truly bizarre.

  • AuH2O||

    New here, I take it?

  • Jordan||

    On that latter point, National Journal Editorial Director Ron Fournier has a new piece out detailing his fallout with a "senior White House official."

    Uh, so why the hell didn't he name this official? It seems that guy is due for a public shaming.

  • Almanian!||

    Uh, so why the hell didn't he name this official?

    Because Fournier is a pussy?

  • wareagle||

    again...Coulter Rule rears head.

  • Almanian!||

    Coulter Rule rears head giraffe-like neck and giant adams apple.

    FIFY

  • DaveAnthony||

    Thread win.

  • Almanian!||

    No, fuck you, cut spending.

    Just thought that needed to be said.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Which are good things to keep in mind when reading output from the White House press corps."

    We should start asking them questions about this--online, everywhere.

    Are you afraid of criticizing the president?

    Has anyone in the White House ever threatened your career for criticizing the president?

  • ||

    This is quickly becoming FULL DELICIOUS.

  • JW||

    Applicable?

    Spammityspamfilterspam.

  • Almanian!||

    OT: but kind of related - Mike Church was asking this AM who listeners thought was a good, actual "news reporter". Not an "editoriallist" - but someone who "did journalism - from journal - meaning 'to write down events chronologically'." Just reporting events, without some slant (as much as is humanly possible). His right hand man listed Krauthammer (!!), and two others equally stupid, whose names I forget from laughing out loud hearing The Kraut mentioned as anything but a hack warboner "must defend Israel no matter what" douche.

    Church mentioned Tim Carney - excellent choice. I also think Catherine Herridge at Fox is outSTANDing. She just gives her report and STFU. Love her - JUST reports.

    Others??

  • ||

    You can tell when something is shameful to Team Blueites because there is silence on Facebook. None of my Facebook lefties has said a damn thing. Not that I read the tripe anyways, unpolitic.me shows me cute pug pictures in place of politics. The lack of pug pictures today so far has shown me the proggies are red-faced and just don't want to talk about it.

  • John||

    Yup. This is just like drones and targeted assassination. Whenever I post something snarky about Obama being Bush with a better kill list, awkward silence ensues. Same here. They just pretend things that don't fit the narrative don't exist.

  • ||

    I posted a discussion topic of labor vs. goods: which one should we value more as a country? I got some responses from some lefties, but most are stuck on the idea that people need to be paid a living wage to survive, even though a minimum wage if anything should only be used to encourage people to work towards a better paying job.

  • Almanian!||

    OMG DID YOU SEE THIS ON PINTERIST!!!!111!

    /Facebooktard

  • ||

    I don't think that they are thin-skinned so much as grossly unaccustomed to having their views challeneged, like many liberals.

    I see this all the time. Many progressives/liberals have so insulated themselves from serious disagreement, and they seem to simply *assume* that everyone around them agrees with their views. So they will walk into a room of people that contains many strangers and start loudly talking politics as if everyone within earshot is goijng to applaud them. And if someone has the balls to contradict them a fight ensues.

    Many conservatives/libertarians have learned to keep their mouths shut because they don't want to make a scene at a party, and this allows these people to go on thinking that nobody disagrees with them.

    I think, in this case, the reaction of the White House staffers reflects that. They aren't accustomed to having to make a rational argument for their poisition, they're accustomed to having the media agree with everything they say. So when faced with an actual contradiction they lose it. They don't know how to handle rational disagreement.

  • John||

    Many hard core liberals I know simply refuse to discuss politics. The moment you disagree with them or present a counter argument, they shut down and refuse to discuss anymore and make it clear they are writing you off as a kook.

  • ||

    Anecdotal, but in my experience conservatives have wanted to convince me that their views were right, while progressives have wanted to convince me my views were wrong. Although I am in MA (and CA before that), so perhaps conservatives have to be more approachable about their stances to not be immediately shut out.

  • John||

    I saw John Stossel speak at Reason HQ last year. He talks about how he makes his living going around to both conservative and liberal audiences and telling them things they don't agree with. He says the conservative audiences don't agree with him but they are always polite and always engage him in rational discussion. The liberals in contrast are never polite and refuse to engage in any kind of discourse beyond insulting him and wishing him ill. He has had liberals come up to him on the streets of New York and tell him that they wish he were dead.

    Conservatives are wrong. Liberals are insane.

  • Libertymike||

    My anecdotal experience says there is much truth to what Stossel postulates.

    Applying the principle to a comparison between FOX News and MSharptonNBC, I would have to conclude that libertarians get a fairer shake out of O'Reilly, Hanninty et al than they do with Maddow, Matthews et al.

  • ||

    My anecdotal experience tells me that liberals have no idea what libertarians believe (based on constant questions along the lines of "But what about Issue A? What about Issue B? What about Issue C?", but conservatives know what we believe and are terrified of it. I'm not sure what's worse. I might say the liberals are worse, because clearly they can use the logic of the NAP to extrapolate what a libertarian might believe on any given issue. It's probably because their positions are not logically consistent with one underlying idea - they're just willy-nilly "feel gooders".

  • JW||

    My anecdotal experience tells me that liberals have no idea what libertarians believe

    But they know exactly what the libertarian in their head believes.

    Orphan abattoirs, right?

  • Bobarian||

    Have you been peeking into my basement?

  • ||

    This is totally true.
    Liberals generally have no idea what libertarians (or even conservatives) actually think. They're so isolated from actual contrary opinions, that they have these weird stereotypical caricatures in their heads that they got from Jon Stewart or MSNBC.
    So whenever they argue with an actual libertarian they get totally flustered by the fact that the things the libertarian is saying don't resemble what they expect the libertarian to say.

  • GILMORE||

    They're so isolated from actual contrary opinions, that they have these weird stereotypical caricatures in their heads that they got from Jon Stewart or MSNBC.

    KOCHTOPUS CORPORATE SHILL EARTHDESTROYERS

  • ||

    *clearly CAN'T use use the logic of the NAP..*

  • JW||

    He has had liberals come up to him on the streets of New York and tell him that they wish he were dead.

    To be fair, I can think of a good number of lefty pols I'd say that to.

  • Irish||

    But Stossel is so benign. I can imagine a hardcore libertarian firebrand having that experience, but Stossel? The guy is a Teddy Bear.

  • AuH2O||

    Well, I think it helps that we are talking about a different generation of conservatives. Conservatives in their 50s and 60s may have once been campus radicals- they probably smoked pot and had sex with someone before they got married.

    The two issues that are still pretty inflexible are the military and pro-life, but pro-life cuts across party and personal lines and abortion is just a hugely divisive issue.

  • wareagle||

    it goes beyond insulation; it is religious fervor which is why Woodward is getting this flak. He didn't just call out a Dem back-bencher, he called out The Obama. Apostasy!

    These folks, and many on the right to be sure, are so marinated in ideology that, by definition, they see all others as evil and/or insane.

  • Jerryskids||

    These folks, and many on the right to be sure, are so marinated in ideology that, by definition, they see all others as evil and/or insane.

    Stupid. You forgot stupid. Stupid, insane or evil. The only possible reason you could fail to see how wonderful your god-king is is if you are stupid, insane or evil. Hence the regrettable necessity of re-education camps, psychiatric prisons and gulag.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I think they take the way they're portrayed in the media very seriously.

    I think they think that's the whole game.

  • Sevo||

    ""behavior that might intimidate less-experienced reporters, a reaction I personally witnessed in journalists covering the Obama administration.""

    Yeah, he might keep some of those twits from licking the floor he walks on!

  • JW||

    Fournier, incredulous at "how thin-skinned and close-minded [Obama's] staff can be to criticism," characterizes this as "behavior that might intimidate less-experienced reporters, a reaction I personally witnessed in journalists covering the Obama administration."

    Nixon's back, baby!

  • ||

    Notice how it's Obama's staff that is thin-skinned. Certainly not Dear Leader Himself!

  • ||

    If Comrade Stalin only knew what was going on, he'd put a stop to it!

  • db||

    Woodward himself is guilty of this kind of thinking. Read the transcript of his interview with Wolf Blitzer. It's all about how he hopes Obama isn't authorizing this kind of behavior.

  • Paul.||

    Realizing your heroes aren't what you thought doesn't happen over night. It's a long, slow road to disappointment.

  • T||

    Pick dead guys for heroes, it's harder for them to disappoint as new revelations come out.

  • ||

    didn't like some of my columns, even though I'm a supporter of Obama

    Notice the use of present tense. His beloved Dear Leader's thugs say they'll pull his credentials if he doesn't play nice, yet he is an Obama supporter. What a fucking tool.

  • db||

    Someone (Mr. Whipple) in another thread pointed out Glenn Greenwald's take which I like.

    As the Washington Post's Ezra Klein documented: "even if we implement every single cut in the sequester, the fall in spending would be less than the military experienced after Korea, Vietnam, or the Cold War." Given the massive explosion of military spending in the name of the War on Terror over the last decade (which Klein notes was "larger than the rise during Vietnam and during the Cold War"), the sequestration-mandated cuts would be but a very small step in returning to a sane level of military spending.

    And here we get to the crux of the matter. Faced with a stagnant economy, failed fiscal stimulus, and a moribund housing market still not rcovered from its popped bubble, the Keynesians in charge attempt to blow a military spending bubble in a vain effort to prop up GDP. Which bubble will pop first? The higher education bubble, or the military spending bubble?

  • Irish||

    Also, notice how, after the fall in spending after Korea and the Cold War, our economy was just fine and actually took off? The only fall in military spending which was then followed by economic stagnation was the Vietnam War, which was followed by a decade of hardcore Keynesian economics.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    In fairness, when you compare the debt accumulation and GDP growth during the 70s and 80s, net economic growth remained larger than the periodic debt growth. Ever since FY 2001, growth ex-deficit spending has actually been negative--we're not getting the same total rate of growth to match the percentage of deficit spending to GDP.

  • ||

    According to Bloomberg the housing market is back. And possibly racist.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....82090.html

  • Proprietist||

    Why doesn't Woodward and the other aggreived journos name names? It's not like the official(s) making veiled threats was a confidential source for a story. You know if it was the Bush Administration, the names would have come out immediately.

  • Proprietist||

    The Administration is thoroughly in the wrong to accost or threaten journalists, and it's self-defeating.

    If Woodward knows more than the Pentagon and Administration about how necessary and vital to national security this Persian Gulf warship operation is at any cost, he should state his case. If Woodward can't make that case, then he is making a mighty leap by claiming that Obama is operating in bad faith by suspending an elective and costly exercise of military for political optics. Just because it's on the schedule doesn't mean we are obligated to do it if it is not vital to national security and the cost of the operation may come in conflict with military budget cuts. I do think Obama has operated in bad faith during the sequester discussions, but on this specific case, I totally agree with his reasoning.

  • T||

    The Administration is thoroughly in the wrong

    Really, you can stop right there and be good. Kind of like how the 1st Amendment should have stopped after the first 5 words.

  • Proprietist||

    Wow, you're a dick. Have anything constructive to say about my argument or are you just trolling?

  • Rasilio||

    " I got a call back from someone who was in the White House saying it will never happen again."...

    30 minutes later I recieved a call from the Secret Service informing me that my press credentials had been revoked and now I can't get anyone in the White House to return my calls

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Davis says the Obama aide told Solomon, "that if he continued to run my columns, he would lose, or his reporters would lose their White House credentials."

    Vladamir Putin is on line one.

    He wants to offer that White House aid a job--just in case someone gets fired over this.

  • Paul.||

    And that is, "threat" or no threat, this administration does seem particularly thin-skinned and badgery when it comes to reporters who criticize POTUS.

    Yes, they are thin-skinned, and we shouldn't be surprised. The Obama administration is simply not used to receiving criticism from Not-Fox News. They're blindsided by it. It's completely uncharacteristic, unexpected. Bob Woodward IS off the reservation.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    The thing is, this isn't just about protecting Obama's reputation--I think the administration as a whole is scared shitless as to what will happen once the sequester goes through. This is a no-win situation for them:

    1) When it goes through, if nothing significant happens and the economy keeps at roughly the same levels, then Team Red can just say, "See, we told you so!" and now the administration has egg on its face for trying to prevent the very thing they proposed.

    2) If a mere 2% cut in federal spending actually does result in an economic meltdown, the administration gets exposed for having run up $6 trillion in debt during his time in office to mask a non-existent recovery (much like what happened with FDR in 1936).

    Just look at the numbers on the revised GDP--without all the deficit spending, the GDP fell by over $200 billion last quarter. If Obama has to admit that all the spending that's occured on his watch has not resulted in a real recovery, he's effectively done as President and Team Red will destroy his party in the mid-terms. This is why Woodward reminding people that Obama proposed the sequester is causing so many chimpouts on the left--because the consequences of it will be a direct indictment of his economic policies and his perpetual quest to avoid responsibility for anything bad.

  • Paul.||

    I don't see #2.

    #1, yeah, I think everyone agrees.

    If the mere 2% does cause an economic meltdown, they get to say, "See? This is why you need big government, this is why any cut is unsustainable. We need federal employees driving around the midwest training housewives how to put stuff in jars."

  • Loki||

    Fournier, incredulous at "how thin-skinned and close-minded [Obama's] staff can be to criticism,"

    You mean a bunch of sycophantic cult members are thin skinned about criticisms of The Leader? What a shock.

  • Boomer||

    I don't understand why this is a scandal. A presidential threat is only meaningful if it's intended to influence. If the idiots in the White House wanted to influence Woodward they should have threatened him BEFORE he published. If they wanted to influence the rest of the media by making an example of Woodward why provide proof in a private email?

    Doesn't make sense.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "If the idiots in the White House wanted to influence Woodward they should have threatened him BEFORE he published."

    Um...what if they wanted to make an example of him to other journalists BEFORE they published?

    "If they wanted to influence the rest of the media by making an example of Woodward why provide proof in a private email?

    Would they be the first White House bunch in history to imagine themselves invulnerable?

    People who come to think of themselves as above the rules tend to do such things with impunity--why is that hard to understand?

    I mean, what's your explanation for why the email was written? Is there some reading of that email that doesn't involve trying to influence the way they're covered?

  • Boomer||

    "Is there some reading of that email that doesn't involve trying to influence the way they're covered?"

    Yeah, there is. Sperling and Woodward know each other from way back. Sperling even suggests the two are friends, and Woodward's response to Sperling's email containing the purported threat seems to support Sperling's characterization of the relationship:

    "Gene: You do not ever have to apologize to me. You get wound up because you are making your points and you believe them. This is all part of a serious discussion. I for one welcome a little heat; there should more given the importance. I also welcome your personal advice. I am listening. I know you lived all this. My partial advantage is that I talked extensively with all involved. I am traveling and will try to reach you after 3 pm today. Best, Bob"

    Woodward is awfully complimentary and polite to someone he believes has just threatened him. What if it's just Sperling telling a friend, a man whose legacy will certainly include that he was a stickler about getting his published facts straight, that he will regret having published something Sperling believes will ultimately proved false?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Actually?

    That's the way adults typically respond to out of control children.

    You'd think more of Bob if he exploded right back?

  • Boomer||

    I read Sperling's entire email--it didn't read like the ranting of an out-of-control child to me.

    I'm perfectly willing to accept I may be wrong in my appraisal. All I'm saying is it sure would be nice to hear more about why Woodward viewed a seemingly innocuous comment from a long-time professional acquaintance as a threat. Perhaps he's received similar threats he's not talking about.

  • Boomer||

    I guess what I'm saying is the context of these emails do not support Woodward's characterization of Sperling's comment as a threat. It seems to me if the content and context of the emails don't support Woodward's characterization, we have to rely on logic.

    Is there any evidence of the Obama administration taking direct retaliatory action against a hostile reporter? Is there any evidence that reporters are NOT writing negative stories about the Obama administration because they fear retaliation?

    Without such evidence I just don't see how Sperling (or Obama) could believe a threat to Woodward in a private email would have a meaningful impact on the behavior of the rest of the media.

    It seems to me this is a tempest in a teapot; the only reason this story is getting any air time is because it involves Woodward. There might be some history between Woodward and Sperling to support Woodward's accusation. It would certainly help Woodward's claim if he shared it...

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Davis told WMAL that his editor, John Solomon, "received a phone call from a senior Obama White House official who didn't like some of my columns, even though I'm a supporter of Obama. I couldn't imagine why this call was made." Davis says the Obama aide told Solomon, "that if he continued to run my columns, he would lose, or his reporters would lose their White House credentials." [...]

    You don't see that as corroborating evidence?

  • Boomer||

    I certainly see that as more of a threat than what Sperling wrote to Woodward. I didn't read anything that direct in Sperling's email to Woodward, but if anything that strengthens my case.

    The fact that White House officials are willing to make such direct threats as those made to WMAL but didn't in Woodward's case suggests Sperling's email wasn't meant as a threat.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Is there any evidence of the Obama administration taking direct retaliatory action against a hostile reporter?"

    Yes, there is evidence that the Obama administration threatened to take away someone's White House credentials.

  • Boomer||

    I would have to see the details of the case. Journalists can be jerks too. I wouldn't have a problem with the White House refusing to deal with someone who constantly takes quotes out of context, or cherry picks, or whatever.

    The question is has the White House's behavior toward reporters affected what they write? As a whole I think it's pretty clear the media was pretty generous with Obama during the election, but is that because reporters felt threatened, or because most of them are bleeding heart liberals?

    Ultimately, I would be more inclined to buy this line of reasoning if there were a dearth of anti-Obama writing today. We wouldn't be having this debate if that were the case.

  • GILMORE||

    the only reason this story is getting any air time is because ...

    ...Obama is a lying liar trying to convince people a pile of shit is chocolate pudding and if it tastes funny its because BUSH, that's why!

  • Boomer||

    That's certainly one way to look at it...

  • GILMORE||

    The comments in the WaPo on Woodwards original editorial... challenge my ability to just DERP it all away... Dear god, its... horrible

    e.g.


    MAH11 wrote:
    2:40 PM EST

    What difference does it make as to who initiated the sequester, GOP has embrased it and the President is opposed to it. The reason GOP is strongly supporting is that it will make rich more rich. When people start losing jobs it scares the common people, they work harder, do not ask for pay increases, the unions will back off from pay increase demands....


    karlmarx2 wrote:
    2:31 PM EST

    Looks like someone misses being a big media star.
    It's OK Bobby. You'll always be a star for being the Bush administration's pussycat . No need to go wetting your pants over this.

    JoeLeaphorn responds:
    2:33 PM EST

    He isn't a messenger any more than the brothers Grimm were. He's a fairy-teller and his lie was outed earlier today at Politico (which can hardly be accused of being liberal).

    Ulysses1 wrote:
    2:25 PM EST

    Who really cares. You have really outlived your usefulness as a reporter. Washington is broke. Period. You just add to the dysfunction and noise. Go away. We will all be better off


    bobsnodgrass wrote:
    2:21 PM EST

    Obama is dishonest, but the tea party/the rich white conservatives are worse and will bring on a second civil war, because they want to punish the poor

  • ||

    Why would anyone want to waste time punishing the poor? How fucking retarded is this guy bobsnodgrass?

  • GILMORE||

    How fucking retarded?

    About par for the course amongst the comments to the Op Ed. He was one of 3 I saw that simply said...

    "Sequester is bad because the GOP wants to just make rich people more rich"

    Thats how fucking retarded they all are.

  • GILMORE||

    ARRRRRRRGRGGGGG!G!GG!GG!GG!G!GGG (choking on own tongue)

    [Bob Woodward] you have become a tired "hack" not worth reading! What would be useful in an article would be an honest assessment of the number of times the " Republican Tea Party" members sort to tear government down and hold the government and its people hostage. No that doesn't interest you! The sequester may have had its start in the White House but you don't even mention much less analyze the fact that the Republican's were hold this country's debt ceiling hostage and the sequester was a response to that crap! We today all pay more interest on our national debt becuase the Republican's delayed the last time in raising the debt ceiling. And you could have addressed how much of this was a constant rabid demented obsession of the Republican leadership to the President fail. Why don't you do us all a favor and retire and go away without another word!

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