Gawker is the Russell Brand of journalism


Not funny, not intelligent, not credible. John Cook:

Goodbye, Bob

Bob Woodward is not a reliable reporter. Readers of All the President’s Men, which admirably chronicles several crucial errors and misrepresentations that he and Carl Bernstein made in the course of their—otherwise excellent!—Watergate reporting, have a sense of this fact. His old boss, the legendary editor Ben Bradlee, never really trusted him, wondering repeatedly and on the record whether the story and mythology of Deep Throat—the linchpin of the Watergate story that Woodward and his partner Carl Bernstein sold to the American public—was in fact a giant fraud.

And anyone who has been paying attention to Woodward’s efforts to portray an apologetic, friendly, concerned email from a White House official as a Nixonian threat designed to silence him will come to the conclusion that, when it comes to assessing his character, we should trust those who know him best. Bradlee was on to something.

I remember Watergate. I watched the hearings on television. I saw the movie and read the book. It was pretty incredible stuff. Lots of people found it hard to believe. But it was all true.

Even that part about Deep Throat. For years people speculated about whether he really existed or if he was a complete fabrication or maybe some sort of composite of multiple sources. But he was a real person – his name was Mark Felt and he was the Associate Director of the FBI.

Cook kinda sorta forgets to mention that.

But Wait! There’s more!:

But the spell has broken. The Obama White House has, it appears, been as receptive to Woodward’s bargain as its predecessors were, but for some reason he’s gone off the grid and begun firing wildly and without provocation. Who knows why. The changes to our politics over the last five years have obviously been hard on him. It’s more difficult to tell stories about good men working out their honest differences when one half of the equation has foresworn compromise and committed itself to total political warfare. The comfortable subroutines of his brain have gone haywire, and he’s kicking out garbage.

But the simplest explanation for this episode is that he wants people to buy his book about how the president is an effete asshole who’s in over his head. How would one go about marketing a book like that, I wonder? During the entirety of the Bush Administration, Woodward made 11 appearances on Fox News Channel. Last year, he showed up 10 times. This year, he’s been on three times so far. Guess where he’s going to be tonight.

First of all let me say that I do not have a really high opinion of Bob Woodward. I think he’s a two-bit hack who owes his career to Mark Felt. But compared to the other notable members of the journalism profession he is a distinguished elder – which is kinda like being the captain of the short bus. In the public esteem journalists rate below lawyers – somewhere between used car salesman and politicians.

On the other hand John Cook is the editor of Gawker, the former home of such luminaries as Alex Pareene and Jim Newell:

Gawker is a blog based in New York City that bills itself as “the source for daily Manhattan media news and gossip” and focuses on celebrities and the media industry.

In other words, Gawker is the Russell Brand of journalism.

Here are the facts:

1. The idea for the sequester originated in the White House. Barack Obama signed it into law. Then Obama tried to blame the sequester on the GOP. Bob Woodward reported that information accurately.

2. White House economic adviser Gene Sperling took umbrage at Woodward and called him to express his displeasure. Afterwards Sperling wrote an email to Woodward where he apologized for “raising my voice”. Then he said this:

But I do truly believe you should rethink your comment about saying saying that Potus asking for revenues is moving the goal post. I know you may not believe this, but as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim.

3. Woodward never characterized what Sperling said as a threat. He said:

It was said very clearly, you will regret doing this… It makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters ‘You will regret’ doing something that you believe in.’ I think if Barack Obama knew that was part of the communications strategy—let’s hope it’s not a strategy, but as a tactic—he’d say look, we don’t go around saying to reporters, you will regret this.

What is never explained is why Sperling took such strenuous objection to Woodward’s original statement. Also left out of Cook’s version is the number of reporters who have confirmed that the White House threatened them too.

Here is a story detailing some of the incidents involving White House retaliation against reporters that “break the rules.”

About Myiq2xu - BA, JD, FJB

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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46 Responses to Gawker is the Russell Brand of journalism

  1. indigogrrl1 says:

    This morning on Today, after an interview with Woodward, David Gregory actually said the pResident doesn’t like the washington press corp and the feeling us mutual. Wha??? They must express this by only giving him one blow job per day.

  2. swanspirit says:

    Jon Stewart must work for Gawker too , or maybe they just share the same script .
    Stewart’s sleight of hand to mouth emphasized the wording of the email . while completely overlooking the previous half hour of screaming by telephone .. We never do get the content of the screaming phone call , and calls Woodward a “delicate flower ” . Stewart also fails to mention other reporters having similar experiences .
    Jon Stewart is not only not funny , he is disgusting . He knows exactly what he is doing , and it isn’t comedy .

    • myiq2xu says:

      There are two issues here:

      1. Did Obama lie about the origin of the sequester? Woodward definitively has proven that he did.

      2. Does the White House have a policy (formal or informal) of pressuring the media to write favorable stories? Once again Woodward has proved that they do. Angry/threatening phone calls/emails and retaliatory action against reporters who upset the WH is something to be concerned about. It’s an attempt to coerce witnesses – even if it’s unsuccessful it’s wrong.

      • It was also something these same journolisters excoriated the Bush White House about. There were stories practically monthly about it. But you know, situational principles are de rigueur for these apes.

        • wmcb says:

          They did it to Clinton as well. In the past, NO admin got away with consistently trying to shut up the press.

  3. driguana says:

    As a “free” nation, we are now officially in deep trouble.

  4. wmcb says:

    It’s amazing. After decades of lauding Bob Woodward as the example all ought to follow, and decades of protesting in a unanimous THUNDERING voice if any administration, D or R, so much as said “boo” to the press corps…. we have this.

    Remember the word “chilling”? The press used to use it all the time, if any president used to power of his office to object to *any* private citizen’s speech, much less the press.

    “CHILLING!” our press would thunder. “You are in a position of power and your complaint has a CHILLING effect on speech!” It was their favorite word.

    Now? Unless Obama actually said he is sending a guy to break your knees, it’s all good. Chilling? What’s that? Never heard of such a ludicrous paranoid concept. Wutchu talkin’ about Bob?

    • wmcb says:

      Oh, other presidents might have managed to quash a really damaging story or two. They all got away with abusing their office to do that on occasion. But not this. Not a uniform campaign to completely control and intimidate the entire press corps. Because the press simply wouldn’t stand for that.

  5. yttik says:

    I knew we were in trouble when the National Enquirer broke the story about John Edwards. When a gossip rag shows more integrity then the mainstream press, journalism has left the building.

  6. wmcb says:

    I’m so bored with doctors and reasearchers trying to turn every damn quirk and flaw and attribute of human nature into a freaking diagnosis of some kind. Leave us the hell alone. And get off my lawn!

    • yttik says:

      I wish we could get drug companies out of the public awareness business. It’s gotten so bad that after about five minutes of TV, you’re convinced you’re suffering from half a dozen ailments in need of urgent medical treatment.

      • wmcb says:

        Yeah, and you are not only suffering from 40 ailments, any possible medicine you could take for them is going to make you puke, crap your guts out, make you suicidal, and KILL YOU DEAD.

      • elliesmom says:

        What? You don’t have restless leg syndrome? So many of my friends have self-diagnosed themselves as having celiac disease or being lactose intolerant I don’t have dinner parties anymore. If a doctor told them they had it, I’d happily accommodate them, but I’m not going to be an enabler.

        • Somebody says:

          I hear you Elliesmom, my sister has EVERYTHING. She also diagnoses everybody else based on TV commercials and the latest fad book, oy!

        • votermom says:

          I am definitely suffering from low testosterone levels. And I might even have prostate cancer.

        • sleepyhead says:

          Oh yeah, restless legs syndrome. My former MIL “suffered” from that and thoroughly enjoyed being the center of attention as she complained and complained about it. And I’m with you on not having dinner parties any more, even though I used to love to entertain. Between the celiacs and the paleos and the vegans and the lactose-intolerant and the just plain picky eaters, it’s so not worth the trouble.

        • swanspirit says:

          That is called restless mouth syndrome , by those of us in the health care industry who enjoy taking liberties with names of diagnoses .

      • piper says:

        Wait there’s more – ads about cancer treatment centers, funeral insurance from AARP and Hospice care for Grandma.

        Last night I indulged in a tumbler of milk and fell asleep on the couch missing the scare – apocalypse party. My neighborhood is now under a layer of snow about 6 – 10 inches of the wet heavy stuff.

        • HELENK says:

          on the cancer treatment centers, the one in Philadelphia did help make my son-in-law’s last days easier. They helped my daughter and grand daughters through a very rough time.
          the cancer was too far advanced to save his life, but our family is very thankful for the kindness shown to him and his family

    • AMEN! That show The Doctors drove me crazy. My Mom would watch it, convince herself she had whatever they were touting as the latest thing, and off to here quack she would go.
      She had enough legitimate real health problems- High blood pressure, COPD, cholesterol- who the hell needs these asshats on tv preying on the public.
      I often wonder if that show is funded by the pharmaceutical industry.

      • piper says:

        Probably and the other show I dislike is Dr. Oz.

        • swanspirit says:

          I used to like Dr Oz , but now all he does is push the latest greatest diet miracle pill .

        • Somebody says:

          My sister watches Dr. Oz, it is so annoying!

          Oh and a funny (for all of you utter despair for me) my son’s idiot baby mama actually told me she had the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer. I kid you not, she told me this and she was serious and deeply concerned.

          I’m afraid my reply was not sympathetic or even marginally nice. Yes I suppose in some ways I qualify as a monster in law. In this case even my son was shocked and horrified, but quickly tried to change the subject.

      • lildoggy4u says:

        Yea, but that doctor is sooooo good looking.

      • lildoggy4u says:

        But that doctor is sooo good-looking. Whats important?

  7. lildoggy4u says:

    Sorry for the duplicate post.

  8. Lulu says:

    “There are people waiting for Woodward to die so they can dish stuff on him that they’re too afraid to say now.” This was said by Michael Hastings, whom I have never heard of, on the Vile Prog gossip show called the Young(ish) (and very scared) Turks. In blissful ignorance this wienie just paid an old guy a very high complement and inadvertently compared his own tiny balls to Mr Woodward’s big brass ones. Yes, they are that stupid.

  9. lildoggy4u says:

    Obviously the Journolisters have their marching orders to destroy Woodward. It wasn’t too long ago that they were worshiping him as Obama gave him unfettered access to “talking points” for his book about the Obama election…….
    We’re getting used to seeing this played over and over but they are certainly coming out of the woodwork for this episode:

  10. HELENK says:

    from Ace of Spades
    today is the anniversary of the death of Andrew Breithbart.
    whether or not you agreed with him he had no fear of politicians of either side.
    Do I wish we had more reporters like him and less stenos owned and operated by the white house? HELL YEAH

  11. Crazywhiteguy says:

    I am a loser and I have a small, limp pee-pee.

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