Until very recently, I had a hard time imagining what it would take to get the mainstream media riled up about the Obama administration. After all, even the Benghazi horror failed to accomplish this.
But the Bob Woodward flap has remedied my failure of imagination. Whatever the merit of Woodward’s specific charge that the White House, through Gene Sperling, threatened him, the controversy at a minimum has struck a nerve with the MSM. And, more than that, it may produce a new chapter in the relationship between the White House and the MSM — one marked by a diminished ability of the former to rely on the latter.
With unerring instinct, Woodward has produced something like a perfect storm. First, the controversy is about the media, as opposed to something trivial like overwhelming national debt or the death of a U.S. ambassador. Second, it’s about individual reporters. Even the most dedicated Obama supporter will be tempted to join the queue of reporters important enough to have received “the Woodward treatment” from the White House.
Third, the flap arises at a perfect time. Now that Obama has safely been reelected, and with the Republicans supposedly in hopeless disarray, the pent up frustration of reporters — some arising inevitably from the nature of president-press relations and some arising from the particular arrogance of this administration — needs an outlet. What better outlet than a story about pressmen initiated by the Dean of pressman glorification?