If you’ve been keeping up with The Perils of Bobline, when we last left Bob Woodward, he was tied up and left on the railroad tracks by the evil Snidely Obama who threatened him that if he didn’t pay the mortgage, he would foreclose on his publishing house and let the train run over him.

In response, Bobline cried out in a high pitch, “Help! Help! Oh please, someone help poor little growing irrelevant me!”

But it was too late, the train of media opinion ran over the melodramatic Bobline and his professional credibility was killed.

Poor Bobline Woodward. Many years ago he used to be relevant and meaningful in the world of journalism. Now, he’s the equivalent of a 1980’s sitcom star trying to do anything he can to get on “Dancing With the Stars”.

In an attempt to get the attention he used to receive in his past glory days, Woodward trumped up an exaggerated story to try and reapply the image of Brave Journalistic Crusader Threatened By Presidents.

The problem is, since his charges are dishonest, he has instead cast himself as, Hysterical Cowardly Old Has-Been Who is Desperate For Attention.

Here is the situation in a nutshell:

Some members of the press and others took to Twitter to joke about Bob Woodward’s claims of being “threatened” by the White House, saying that the full text of the emails don’t back up the Washington Post reporter.

Here is the full email exchange courtesy of Politico:

From Gene Sperling to Bob Woodward on Feb. 22, 2013


I apologize for raising my voice in our conversation today. My bad. I do understand your problems with a couple of our statements in the fall — but feel on the other hand that you focus on a few specific trees that gives a very wrong perception of the forest. But perhaps we will just not see eye to eye here.

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. The idea that the sequester was to force both sides to go back to try at a big or grand barain with a mix of entitlements and revenues (even if there were serious disagreements on composition) was part of the DNA of the thing from the start. It was an accepted part of the understanding — from the start. Really. It was assumed by the Rs on the Supercommittee that came right after: it was assumed in the November-December 2012 negotiations. There may have been big disagreements over rates and ratios — but that it was supposed to be replaced by entitlements and revenues of some form is not controversial. (Indeed, the discretionary savings amount from the Boehner-Obama negotiations were locked in in BCA: the sequester was just designed to force all back to table on entitlements and revenues.)

I agree there are more than one side to our first disagreement, but again think this latter issue is diffferent. Not out to argue and argue on this latter point. Just my sincere advice. Your call obviously.

My apologies again for raising my voice on the call with you. Feel bad about that and truly apologize.

From Woodward to Sperling on Feb. 23, 2013

Gene: You do not ever have to apologize to me. You get wound up because you are making your points and you believe them. This is all part of a serious discussion. I for one welcome a little heat; there should more given the importance. I also welcome your personal advice. I am listening. I know you lived all this. My partial advantage is that I talked extensively with all involved. I am traveling and will try to reach you after 3 pm today. Best, Bob

And here is the soap opera, “Oh my word! I’m gettin’ the vapors, I may faint!” portrayal of that exchange by Woodward (also courtesy of Politico):

“It makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters, you’re going to regret doing something that you believe in.”

“Come on, I think if Obama himself saw the way they’re dealing with some of this, he would say, ‘Whoa, we don’t tell any reporter ‘you’re going to regret challenging us.’”

They have to be willing to live in the world where they’re challenged. I’ve tangled with lots of these people. But suppose there’s a young reporter who’s only had a couple of years — or 10 years’ — experience and the White House is sending him an email saying, ‘You’re going to regret this.’ You know, tremble, tremble. I don’t think it’s the way to operate.”

And where is Woodward running to today to show off his new hair-on-fire hairstyle while shouting, “The President’s comin’ to get me!”? Sean Hannity at Fox News.

Unknown to Bob “Hyperventilation” Woodward, PlanetPOV has obtained a couple of other emails which he has also represented as threatening. Decide for yourself:

From Local Girl Scout Troop 172 to Bob Woodward:


We’re having our annual cookie sale and we hope you’ll want to buy our delicious cookies again! Buy them soon or it may be too late for you to get them since we do run out.



Girl Scout Troop 172”
Response from Bob Woodward to Bill O’Reilly at Fox News:

“Unfortunately, I can’t see this as anything other than intimidation and a veiled threat from Girl Scout Troop 172, saying that “It may be too late for me.” Fortunately for me, I’ve been to this rodeo before but had another younger and more promising reporter received a heavy handed threat like this, they would probably have stabbed themselves in the chest with a machete and jumped out the window of a high rise into a wood-chipper.”

Here was another email:

From Society For Good Homes For Puppies to Bob Woodward:

“Dear Mr. Woodward,

Our group is dedicated to the protection and happiness of puppies. We are hoping that due to your previous interest in our group, you may be interested in giving one of our cute and cuddly puppies a home. We could contact you by email with details on available puppies or else you could come to our shelter to meet our puppies and play with them. Many are already housebroken and would make loving pets.

Thanks for your consideration,

Society For Good Homes For Puppies”

Response from Bob Woodward to Washington Times:

“What I have to admit is a bit threatening here is their use of the phrase “or else”. Or else what? Sure they cover their tracks by saying one thing but there is a clear attempt at using fear to silence me by both this organization and the puppies themselves. Trying to lure me into some kind of shelter where animals are locked in with me is intimidation, pure and simple. And they can try to threaten me about puppies breaking into my house but I’ll get a restraining order against those puppies, they’ll never lick me!”

We are currently seeking to uncover the email from “The Alliance of Kindly Loving Grandparents Who Like to Give Money as Birthday Presents” to see how it squares with Woodward’s claim, “They are a vicious hate group bent on seeing me gagged and waterboarded…after being choked unmercifully with hard candies.”

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I always come here to the Planet to help me understand issues, so I am asking once again for someone to help me understand what all the fuss is about.

In an interview on MSNBC, Woodward denied that he felt threatened by the WH. He accused David Axelrod of “putting words in his mouth.” But when Wolf Blitzer characterized Gene Sperling’s words as “a threat”, Woodward was sitting right there (in another interview, of course), and didn’t deny he felt threatened. His own newspaper called it a “threat”, and he did not deny it then, either.

However, when Woodward was asked directly by Axelrod, “So if you felt threatened, why didn’t you say to Gene, don’t threaten me?” then, and only then, Woodward denied that he felt threatened.

So, once again, I ask…what is all the fuss about? Woodward felt “uncomfortable” and the rest of us have to live through another week of “he said I said what I didn’t say, although what I did say is on tape and in print”? Our government and press has descended into “gotcha” dramas instead of governing and facts. The Yiddish expression, “Oy vey” seems to describe our press and our government best nowadays. Am I the only one missing the point, or are we being intentionally, and continuously, diverted around the point?


glenn, one thought that’s occurred to me regarding Woodward is that there’s actually some sort of health issue going on.

I’ve seen him in a couple of panel discussion situations recently and his speech seems slow. He seems to struggle to find the appropriate word.

I’m wondering if he’s had some mini-strokes? Is in early-stage Alzheimer’s? I’m not trying to be mean-spirited or judgmental here. Just trying to understand what’s making him act like this.


Hey kes! I think Woodward is trying to reclaim a bit of glory from his Watergate days. I think he also feels that the whitehouse has slighted him in some way or another. I don’t think that is the case here, but Woodward is certainly blowing this whole thing way out of proportion.

How far we fall from great heights!


I know, KT. It reveals a remarkable level of pettiness, doesn’t it?


Kes-thanks for replying. It’s as good an explanation as any.




OK – I went to high school with Bob Woodward. He was ahead of me, an “older man”, typical BMOC, very popular from a very well-to-do home. His daddy was a big shot Republican judge, and he was a kid of privilege. In “All the President’s Men” each author wrote of the other. Bernstein wrote of Woodword that it was not sure that English was his native language. That was pretty much his rep in HS – BMOC but not BBOC – Big Brain on Campus. He was cute, had a great smile, wore pegleg jeans beautifully. And…that’s about it.

That aside, those two did amazing work. It’s probably never been equaled outside of the Pentagon Papers. He rose to the moment. He’s never been able to equal his own self since.

Bob has reverted to high school Bob. He writes – and every time I become less and less sure he is telling the truth. His “interview” with dying CIA director William Casey was, even to me a fan, deeply worrisome in its apparent falsehood.

I don’t read him anymore, books or paper, and it was only with this flap I learned he’d been a strong Bush war policy supporter. Now how can he have cred? Between that and the nagging rumors about the Casey “interview” being made up, the man is crumbling away.

He ought to go back home and live in the glory of his past. He’s not making much of a present or future at this rate.


CL, Woodward sounds like he is suffering from the same illness as John McCain. They just can’t stand that they aren’t the center of attention anymore or thought of as the smartest in their fields now. Their opinions should be kept more to themselves and they might still be respected. Well, that may be too late.


Ha! Funny stuff Ad. The RWers are already going berserk over this attempt to make another mountain out of another molehill. They’re saying things like, “see, see, I told you lefties that Obama was evil!” Or the standard, “Obama is trying to destroy this county!”

Red meat to starving dogs! (my apologies to good dogs everywhere)


This reminds me of something other kids tried to teach me when I first moved to England. We had a hysterical gym teacher who would get upset at the slightest little thing while making mountains out of molehills, and the kids would giggle after one of them said, ” I thought I’d shit myself but when I looked I’d only farted.” It took a long time for me to understand with my broken English, and when I did I would laugh along with them.

What a shame about Woodward’s loss of integrity when good, honest journalism would have kept his place up there along with the other respected few. Who can ever take him seriously again especially after going on Fox.

Don’t trip on you way down the ladder Bob.

Funny piece AdLib, but unfortunately very true.

Tomasky’s take.

“Bob Woodward and Politico and the Worst of Washington” by Michael Tomasky


AdLib, so funny and so true!

Words fail me. But pictures don’t.

Remember this YouTube guy who was weeping over some slight to his idol, Britney Spears?

How did Woodward go from being a decent reporter to this whiner?