If there’s anything that this administration is good at, it’s threatening people. This time, they threatened Watergate investigative reporter Bob Woodward, saying that he’ll regret his statements criticizing President Obama for suggesting sequestration.
Ed Morrissey notes that Woodward isn’t the only person that this administration has threatened:
Lanny Davis, formerly a special counsel to President Bill Clinton, told WMAL’s Brian Wilson and Larry O’Connor that a White House official once threatened to have The Washington Times’ White House credentials revoked over columns Davis had written.
Davis says 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.”
Here’s the story on the Woodward threat:
Bob Woodward said this evening on CNN that a “very senior person” at the White House warned him in an email that he would “regret doing this,” the same day he has continued to slam President Barack Obama over the looming forced cuts known as the sequester.
CNN host Wolf Blitzer said that the network invited a White House official to debate Woodward on-air, but the White House declined.
“It makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters, ‘You’re going to regret doing something that you believe in,’” Woodward said. “I think they’re confused,” Woodward said of the White House’s pushback on his reporting.
The White House aide who Woodward said threatened him was Gene Sperling, the director of the White House Economic Council, BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith reported.
Any administration that’s repeatedly used the term “you’ll regret this” isn’t just pushing back. They’re attempting to intimidate those people. In this instance, that’s stupid because the public won’t buy the thought that Bob Woodward and Lanny Davis have suddenly become right wing shills.
This administration is known for its Chicago thug tactics towards the media. Anita Dunn famously attacked Fox News. Here’s part of that attack from October, 2009:
Calling Fox News “a wing of the Republican Party,” the Obama administration on Sunday escalated its war of words against the channel, even as observers questioned the wisdom of a White House war on a news organization.
“What I think is fair to say about Fox, and certainly it’s the way we view it, is that it really is more a wing of the Republican Party,” said Anita Dunn, White House communications director, on CNN. “They take their talking points, put them on the air; take their opposition research, put them on the air. And that’s fine. But let’s not pretend they’re a news network the way CNN is.”
Fox News senior vice president Michael Clemente, who likens the channel to a newspaper with separate sections on straight news and commentary, suggested White House officials were intentionally conflating opinion show hosts like Glenn Beck with news reporters like Major Garrett.
“It’s astounding the White House cannot distinguish between news and opinion programming,” Clemente said. “It seems self-serving on their part.
This wasn’t a one-time thing. Anita Dunn, Robert Gibbs and David Axelrod all criticized Fox News. Axelrod, Dunn and Gibbs each said that Fox News didn’t do real reporting. Now they’re telling Bob Woodward that he’ll regret his statements on sequestrion. Now they’re threatening to pull the Washington Times’ White House press credentials because Lanny Davis, the special counsel to Bill Clinton, wrote something that upset the administration.
That’s what Chicago thug tactics look like. In fact, that’s taking a page out of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.
Tags: Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals, Gene Sperling, Anita Dunn, Robert Gibbs, David Axelrod, Freedom of the Press, First Amendment, Bob Woodward, Lanny Davis, White House Press Credentials, Chicago Thug Tactics, Nixonian Tactics