Foo Fighters - "There goes my hero, watching him as he goes".
I have bought every book Bob Woodward has ever written. His writing style is as simple and steady as when he is interviewed.
But his demise is near. He has failed my Onion Theory: if the Onion is lampooning you, that is a dangerous leading indicator.
Note the current Woodward Onion lampoon titled "Anonymous Source Informs Bob Woodward He Hasn't Been Relevant In 40 Years".
Woodward is claiming he was threatened by the White House. But the emails between Woodward and the White House's Gene Sperling clearly show he was not.
Sperling: I apologize for raising my voice in our conversation today. 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 ... My apologies again for raising my voice on the call with you. Feel bad about that and truly apologize.
Woodward: 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.
Then Woodward tried to backpedal. The only taker? Sean Hannity of Fox News. While his fellow journalists have distanced themselves, calling his claims of White House veiled threats incorrect and with Morning Joe criticising Woodward by saying - even though Morning Joe is not a Obama fan - the Obama White House has always been extremely cordial; the only outlet of sympathy left was a network and host who's business is bashing Obama.
I find all of this very sad. Woodward has been an American hero since Watergate. He has traditionally been our only window into White House intrigue.
But now we don't need to wait for Woodward to write books. There is now real-time windows into White House intrigue. Web sites like Politico and the Slate write Woodward pieces every day.
And that is perhaps the point. Woodward is imploding because he is less relevant today. His monopoly of information and the power that goes with it; just isn't there anymore.
But Woodward still is important. His books are American history codified. While Politico and the Slate are not.
I hope he comes to terms with the changes in political journalism and moves on. While he will never be the sole window into presidencies; he still has the ability to be reference material for future generations.
March 1, 2013