The Media Research Center's efforts to perpetuate the false notion that a White House official threatened Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward continued with a March 1 NewsBusters post by Matt Vespa.
Blissfullying ignoring actual facts, Vespa writes:
Bob Woodward is a legend in modern journalism, especially for fellow liberal reporters. But that all is for naught now that Woodward has committed the cardinal sin of criticizing the White House for an operative's use of what apparently is a fairly common tactic: a harsh bullying of the press in order to demand even more favorable coverage than the Obama-friendly press already lavishes on Team Obama. It centers on Woodward reporting that sequestration was the White House's idea. This morning Matt Lauer, on the Today Show, questioned Woodward's judgement, saying "I'm a little surprised you've gone public with this." Even, the New York Times offered no refuge for Woodward.
First, the conflict centers on Woodward's claim that Obama "moved the goalposts" by demanding revenue increases -- in fact, the White House plan to avert sequestration has always included revenue increases as well as spending cuts -- not whether the sequester was Obama's idea.
Second, nowhere in his post does Vespa mention that Woodward's suggestion that that White House adviser Gene Sperling threatened him has been discredited by the actual content of the email exchange in question. He does, however, uncritically quote Woodward claiming that he never said there was a threat.
Rather than discuss the actual facts of the issue, Vespa chooses to rant that former White House adviser David Axelrod was allowed to discuss his own previous experiences as a journalist:
Bob Woodward wasn't some outlier in the conversation. Woodward is the story, and to trivialize it by somehow inviting Axelrod to detail his own experiences in press intimidation when he was twenty-five, and working for the Chicago Tribune, is mannerless. It's as if Brzezinski is saying that what Axelrod, the White House mouthpiece on the show, experienced is what real journalists go through.
If Vespa is so serious about making Woodward the "story" here, why won't he look at indisputable facts that prove Woodward wrong?