Tag Archives: Bob Woodward

Obama Media Worm Turns on Woodward

Miller Center (CC)

Miller Center (CC)

Miller Center (CC)


The name Bob Woodward has been synonymous with investigative journalism for the vast majority of my lifetime. By the time I started getting my feet wet in that world, his words had been used for years by Journalism professors across the country – including my own. And I had assumed that he would enjoy privileged status until his full retirement, or death. But, the Obama administration has brought that into question.

Yes, I am a conservative that is suggesting that a liberal journalist should be left alone by this administration, because he was simply doing the same job he’s been doing. True, Woodward may have implied some degree of similarities between this presidency, and that of Nixon (if the shoe fits?), but that is no reason to start running about making threats against members of the media. That is another important point, since Woodward is by no means the only target of the Obama Administration, and Lanny Davis, former Clinton White House Counsel, explains that to the hosts on WMAL below.

While it might be tempting to take some degree of amusement in this latest round of nonsense among the liberal members of the media, that probably isn’t the best idea, especially given what Davis implies in that interview – that this administration is not above throwing around threats of withdrawing White House press credentials from journalists that annoy them. Sure, it could be interesting to watch John Nolte’s running list of liberal journalists that take the administration’s side against Woodward over on Breitbart.com. Personally, I think he’s being very generous in putting many of those people in the “remotely close to objective” category, but that’s just me. All of this nonsense is just that. I’m paying more attention to what isn’t making the headlines – the handful of journalists I know personally that have privately, or only semi-publicly stated that they have also received similar threats from this administration. That points out that there is a disturbing trend building here. And that makes Nolte’s list less than compelling, since it’s not insane to assume that those journalists know better than most about any blacklisting, or other harassment this administration has already meted out to “misbehaving” journalists. So, yes, I’ll keep track of that list, but not to see who’s a traitor against his own kind – I want to know who knows, or suspects how far this administration will go to silence its opposition in the media. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think that’s more important than a hundred Woodwards.

Journalists as Endangered Species

RickC (CC)

For every spotted owl in danger of losing its habitat, there’s a do-good organization out to protect it. It wouldn’t be surprising if such a tree hugging group would step up to defend the hated stink bugs, if we finally managed to find an effective and inexpensive way to destroy them. So it goes with liberal humans and the animal kingdom. But what about subsets within the human species? What about the journalists that specialize in hard-hitting straight news?

RickC (CC)

There was a time when journalists did not run around writing stories like they were getting supplemental incomes from politicians for ignoring graft on the page. On the contrary, one of the quickest ways to lose one’s job as a staff member for a Congressman or Senator would be to fail in keeping the press at bay when there was a scandal. Now, the job description of a beltway worker doesn’t tend to include hiding any misdeeds from the media, because with few noted exceptions, the media is quite willing to take being spoon-fed pablum by politicians.

Yes, there is Katie Pavlich and Brandon Darby, as well as Lee Stranahan, Robert Stacy McCain, and Aaron Worthing. There are many others like them, and the common thread there is that they are not traditional media journalists. They’re also not liberals, but this isn’t just about political leanings here. Whether it is out of a misguided notion that the current President is untouchable simply because of the color of his skin, or any other reason under the sun, the fact remains that the journalists that should be acting as watch dogs have been getting fat and lazy on the bones tossed to them by politicians on both sides of the fence.

This isn’t a new concept, of course. It also isn’t going away anytime soon. However, there is one new wrinkle to this situation. While no one would argue the point that Bob Woodward is a sacred cow in the world of journalism, if for no other reason because of his work on the Watergate scandal, perhaps he will lose some of his stature among the new crop of liberal journalists now. He probably has already, thanks to his latest works. But now he has compounded his sin, by pointing out the elephant in the room – journalists aren’t doing their jobs anymore. Woodward pointed out to Mike Allen in an interview that it is not the job of journalists to act as cheerleaders for Obama. Instead, they are supposed to be an “irritant” to politicians – not as strong a term as watchdog, but at least it’s something.

When I first started playing in the world of journalism, it was as a student. I was given the “administration beat” for our school newspaper, and had to get information from our school superintendent for the high school newspaper. That was boring, so I started actually asking questions. Soon enough, the superintendent did everything he could to avoid seeing me. Yes, that was just student journalism, but I didn’t get in trouble with the teacher for doing that. On the contrary, I was told that in general, if leaders didn’t have a problem talking to me because I asked easy questions, I was doing it wrong. If someone told me then that there would be a time when journalists wouldn’t do their jobs the way my high school journalism teacher taught us, I wouldn’t have believed it. My old teacher is still running the school paper – maybe one day I’ll go back and ask her what she’s teaching her students now about interviewing leaders. If the lesson’s the same, maybe real journalism won’t become extinct. But, at this point, we have to rely on the next generation to get journalists off the “endangered species” list.