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Contortions of partisan message management surround the sequester. Who is responsible? What really happened? … .
Obama personally approved of the plan to propose the sequester to Harry Reid, according to senior WH aides directly involved. Nabors checked with the president before going to see Reid. A mandatory sequester was the only action-forcing mechanism they could devise. “It really was the only thing we had. "
Bob Woodward said a “very senior person” at the White House warned him that he would “regret doing this,” referring to his outspoken criticism of President Barack Obama’s handling of the impending forced cuts known as the sequester.
“I think they’re confused,” Woodward told CNN host Wolf Blitzer. Woodward apparently went on to criticize Obama further over the sequester the same day he received the warning from the White House.
“It makes me very uncomfortable for the White House to be telling reporters, you are going to ‘regret’ doing something that you believe in,” he added.
Progressives are throwing a series of virtual flowerpots at Bob Woodward, following his stepped-up criticism of President Barack Obama’s attempt to raise taxes by hyping the sequester budget trims. …
The pile-on by the president’s allies follows Woodward’s recent statements that Obama is walking away from the 2011 budget-deal by calling for more tax increases, that he is hyping the impact of the sequester cuts, and that he was allegedly threatened by Obama’s top economic adviser. Sperling tried to get Woodward to back down from his conclusion that Obama is “moving the goalposts” from the 2011 budget deal.
"Under the Constitution, the President is commander-in-chief and employs the force. And so we now have the President going out because of this piece of paper and this agreement. 'I can’t do what I need to do to protect the country,'" Woodward said. "That’s a kind of madness that I haven't seen in a long time," he said.
Lanny Davis told WMAL he had received similar threats for newspaper columns he had written about Obama in the Washington Times. Davis told WMAL that his editor "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."
Woodward-gate is a distraction that briefly enveloped my reporting last weekend, when I essentially broke ties with a senior White House official. Yes, I iced a source– and my only regret is I didn’t do it sooner. It might shed light on the increasingly toxic relationship between media and government, which is why the Woodward flap matters outside the Beltway.
I had angered the White House, particularly a senior White House official who sent me an indignant e-mail. “What’s next, a Nazi analogy?” the official wrote, chastising me for spreading “bull**** like that” It was the last straw in a relationship that had deteriorated.
I received several e-mails and telephone calls from this White House official filled with vulgarity, abusive language, and virtually the same phrase that Politico characterized as a veiled threat. “You will regret staking out that claim. The official wrote, challenging Woodward and my tweet. “Get off your high horse and assess the facts, Ron.”
Finally, this week, reporters are pushing back. Even Jonathan Alter — who frequently appears on the Obama-friendly MSNBC — came forward to say he, too, had been treated horribly by the administration for writing something they didn’t like.
“There is a kind of threatening tone that, from time to time — not all the time — comes out of these guys,” Alter said this week. During the 2008 campaign swing through Berlin, Alter said that future White House press secretary Robert Gibbs disinvited him from a dinner between Obama and the press corps over it.
“I was told ‘Don’t come,’ in a fairly abusive e-mail,” he said. “[It] made what Gene Sperling wrote [to Woodward] look like patty-cake.”
“I had a young reporter asking tough, important questions of an Obama Cabinet secretary,” says one DC veteran. “She was doing her job, and they were trying to bully her. In an e-mail, they called her the vilest names — bitch, c--t, a--hole.” He complained and was told the matter would be investigated: “They were hemming and hawing, saying, ‘We’ll look into it.’ Nothing happened.”