My conservative friend called me around 8:00 am to tell me about the “Chicago-style” tactics used against Bob Woodward. The "Obama threat." To him, this confirmed how the Obama administration bullies the opposition. My friend was also celebrating how well conservatives passed the blame and consequences of the sequester firmly onto Obama.
Despite the Republicans overwhelming vote for sequestration, and their plan to let it happen, they’re quick to blame Obama.
My friend was lovin’ it.
But the victory was short lived:
Media Matters: Conservative media figures are abandoning Washington Post writer Bob Woodward's over-hyped claim that he was threatened by a White House official. Woodward claimed that White House representative Gene Sperling had threatened him … But the full email exchange between Woodward and Sperling, released this morning by Politico, strongly suggests that Woodward's claims of White House intimidation were overblown. As a result, as Brett LoGiurato explains at Business Insider, several conservatives are now turning on Woodward.
The Daily Caller posted an article by Matt Lewis explaining that conservatives had seized on Woodward's initial story because it "confirmed our suspicion about the Obama Administration's 'Chicago-style' of politics." After reading the full emails, Lewis concluded that conservatives had been "played," and that the exchange is "much more innocuous" than it was initially presented.
Echoing Lewis, Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson said during an appearance on Fox News that the full emails suggest Woodward "hyped" the claim that he had been threatened. Fox News contributor Erick Erickson tweeted this morning:
In a post at National Review, Kevin Hassett argues that while Sperling's statement to Woodward was "certainly regrettable," it was "not some ham-fisted attempt to intimidate Woodward."
At Herman Cain's website, Robert Laurie wrote, "I'm not seeing any threat. It's a real stretch to claim this back and forth is, in any way, menacing."
My favorite is this incredible lunacy by Breitbart.com:
Breitbart.com's John Nolte wrote a post titled "Woodward Emails Back Claim Of White House Intimidation," arguing that Sperling's words were still a threat, because "[p]sychological manipulation is a game of chess, not checkers, and those claiming Woodward is exaggerating need to take into account more than just these two moves."So insightful.