by Datechguy | March 2nd, 2013
There is a lot of significance to the WhiteHouse vs Woodward fight. We get one aspect of it from the Anchoress:
I looked at some of the political headlines, particularly that staggering business of mediafolk eating their own to protect their presidential squeeze-toy, and wondered, what the history books would say about yesterday, too. Would they say this was the moment the U.S. Press vacated its right to a public trust, by disallowing any challenges to (or demands of accountability from) a presidential administration?
A friend replied: “No one will remember what happened in America today…” And that is probably right. But watching the on-going goings-on among the mainstream journalists, I wondered if we ought not mark the day of the Woodward take-down as we were marking Benedict’s. Perhaps yesterday was a day when butterflies flapped their wings, and fomented distant calamities.
Certainly the blowblack from the MSM against Woodward who had hitherto been treated as a demigod is not insignificant. There is no shortage of irony in the president proclaiming “I am not a dictator” at the end of the week when the White House cry was seemingly: ” “Will no one rid me of this turbulent reporter?”
While the Woodward affair might have a long term significance, either in terms of marking the day the press turns around or the day the press finally surrenders itself in submission there is one other aspect of the Woodward story that serves the long term goals of the president no matter how it ends.
Yesterday I wrote how the White House was going to play sequestration:
No Jobs? Sequestration’s fault. People can’t afford a house or car? Sequestration’s fault. Foodstamps on the rise? Sequestration. Long lines at an airport? Sequestration! Poor Education? Sequestration! Crime? Sequestration! Student Loans? Sequestration. Al Qaeda attacks? Sequestration! Iranian Bomb? Sequestration in Spades!
The entire business is vague enough that the White House can use this argument to explain away almost anything. It doesn’t have to work forever, just long enough to deflect the blame when the low information voter catches a sound bite here and there.
You might think the Woodward business, drawing so many stories and posts might destroy that plan, on the contrary, it serves it.
Remember this all started with a February 22nd Op ed by Woodward calling attention to the fact the White House is where sequestration came from:
The president and Lew had this wrong. My extensive reporting for my book “The Price of Politics” shows that the automatic spending cuts were initiated by the White House and were the brainchild of Lew and White House congressional relations chief Rob Nabors — probably the foremost experts on budget issues in the senior ranks of the federal government.
Obama personally approved of the plan for Lew and Nabors to propose the sequester to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). They did so at 2:30 p.m. July 27, 2011, according to interviews with two senior White House aides who were directly involved.
That was a bombshell that exploded on the press and the White House and had excellent potential to derail any hopes of blaming Sequestration (and through it the GOP) for any problem that might arise.
However The woodward fight has changed the narrative, look at these memeorandm headlines from Thursday and Friday
CNN: Bob Woodward says he was threatened by White House
Brett LoGiurato / Business Insider: BOB WOODWARD: A ‘Very Senior’ White House Person Warned Me I’d ‘Regret’ What I’m Doing
All are big, all are loud and not a single one of them says: “White House source of Sequestration”.
As long as that narrative is not the story, the White House wins, Woodward called the White House out concerning this on Today:
“It’s been pointed out that this is a sideshow, which it is,” the Washington Post journalist told Matt Lauer on TODAY from Washington. “This is the old trick in the book of making the press, or some confrontation with the press, the issue, rather than what the White House has done here.”
Why cover the issue when the dogfight is more interesting?
“The president is running around the country saying it’s going to bring a human toll, that all sorts of people are going to lose their jobs,” Woodward told Lauer. “He’s the one who started it. He’s the one he proposed it. People need to know that, and that’s what the White House is trying to avoid discussion about, quite frankly.”
In six months everyone will remember the White House had a confrontation with Bob Woodward. But none of the low information voters that this plan is directed toward will remember what Woodward wrote that sparked it.
That result is all the White House is interested in. If less powerful journalists are dissuaded from crossing them, that’s a bonus extra.
It’s the last day of the pay week and despite one soul doing a monthly kick in we are still under 25% toward this week’s paycheck.
With No Soros, No Koch, No Unions, No Feds and No Malaysia It’s going to take you, I’m twelve $20 tip jar hitters from a full paycheck this week. Can I find a dirty dozen to keep the home fires burning?