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Obama official threatens veteran journalist, gets away with it

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
February 28th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A veteran White House journalist says he was threatened by a senior official in the White House because of an op-ed he published over the weekend. Bob Woodward, penned the piece calling out Obama for changing the terms of the deal he made with Congress to avoid the sequester.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Bob Woodard says he was threatened after publishing an on-ed over the weekend in The Washington Post. That piece prompted a reply from a senior administration official, whom he is refusing to name. The threat says, "you will regret doing this."

Woodward told CNN in an interview, "They're not happy at all."

What Woodward did was criticize Obama's handling of the sequester, a package of automatic spending cuts set to begin on Friday. Obama, despite previous pledges to cut spending, has said he now wants a more "balanced" approach, which includes closing tax benefits he has identified as loopholes.

In other words, Obama wants to cut less and raise more taxes instead. Republicans have said they will stand firm this time, and the sequester is virtually certain to happen.

However, White House officials have bristled at Woodward's comments, which say the change in strategy by the Obama administration is unfair.

Woodward wrote in his piece, "When the president asks that a substitute for the sequester include not just spending cuts but also new revenue, he is moving the goal posts. His call for a balanced approach is reasonable, and he makes a strong case that those in the top income brackets could and should pay more. But that was not the deal he made."

Simply put, Woodward is treading softly, but still explaining that Obama is reneging on a deal he previously made. If true, then it makes lies of his prior promises, and that is naturally embarrassing for the administration.

Indeed, Republicans have seized on Woodward's quote and used it repeatedly all week to emphasize that even veteran journalists like Woodward are crying foul over Obama's latest broken promises.

The White House has declined to interview on the situation, however another White House official, again unnamed, said that "no threat was intended."

She went further and said that the email suggested Woodward "would regret the observation he made regarding the sequester because that observation was inaccurate, nothing more."

Of course, the political whitewashing is likely an attempt to make apologetics for a rude, and underhanded remark against a journalist doing his job. It also hints at the culture in the White House, that such a comment could even be considered acceptable in any context. In most workplaces, that specific string of words could get one fired, or even arrested.

However, Obama has said nothing about the comment, and as long as the offender remains protected by anonymity, it's unlikely they will face any real consequence for threatening a member of the free[?] press.

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