Tonight on Hannity we will have an exclusive interview with author and journalist Bob Woodward. Woodward, as you may know, has been the source of controversy over the last few days for his reporting on sequestration, which apparently got him into some hot water with the White House.
Here's a brief timeline for you ...
Last September, Bob Woodward wrote a book “The Price of Politics” in which he makes clear the fact that the idea for sequestration actually came from Jack Lew and the Obama administration.
Then last Friday February 22nd, Woodward apparently called senior White House official Gene Sperling to tell him of his upcoming column in the Washington Post where he re-iterated his reporting on the origin of the sequester: Obama's White House. He also accused the administration of “moving goal posts” by insisting on new revenues as a part of the sequester compromise. According to the Politico, Sperling “yelled at [Woodward] for about a half-hour.” That conversation led to a follow up email from Sperling, which became the source of controversy yesterday. We'll get to that in a moment.
Yesterday morning, Woodward went on MSNBC where he said that Obama's decision not to deploy an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf because of the looming cuts was “a kind of madness that I haven't seen in a long time,” prompting more outrage.\
Later yesterday evening, Woodward told CNN that a “very senior person” at the White House – which we now know was Gene Sperling – sent him an email saying that he would "regret doing this.” This set off a firestorm online, outrage over the believable claim that the White House was threatening reporters who dare to question the White House's messaging or policies.
This morning, the email exchange between Bob Woodward and Gene Sperling has been released. You can read it for yourself here. As I said, Woodward will be on Hannity tonight to discuss this reaction to his reporting on sequestration.
At the end of the day, the actual content of Bob Woodward's reporting remains true and his sentiments of “madness” are profound, considering Woodward's experience and knowledge in covering presidential administration for decades.
When it comes to the White House's reaction, it is not far-fetched for many Americans who have followed this administration closely to believe that the White House would use bully-like tactics to keep its message intact. Other reporters like former Bill Clinton advisor Lanny Davis and Ron Fournier have come forward saying that they received similar emails from the White House. Also remember claims back in 2009 during the auto-bailout when a financial firm claimed that “officials of the Obama White House would embarrass the firm for opposing the Obama administration plan” for the bailout of Chrysler.
If true, would any of these tactics be exclusive to the Obama administration? Hardly. But the push-back shows how the administration knows it is losing its PR battle with the American public on the real consequences of sequestration and possibly on its other policies as well.