The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward appeared on Fox News’ Hannity on Thursday evening to complain about National Economic Council director Gene Sperling’s email disputing his characterization of the White House’s role in shaping the mechanism known as the sequester — the automatic across-the-board budget cuts that will go into effect on Friday.
Over the weekend Woodward claimed that the White House was trying “to move the goalposts” by replacing sequestration with a deficit reduction package that includes new revenues, a notion Sperling disputed in emails with the famed Watergate journalist. “I do truly believe you should rethink your comment about saying saying that Potus asking for revenues is moving the goal post,” Sperling wrote to Woodward. “I know you may not believe this, but as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim.”
During his interview with Sean Hannity, Woodward claimed that he had been “roughed up” by Sperling and agreed with the host’s characterization of the Washington journalists as liberals who are disinterested in challenging the president with Bill Ayers, an education advocate who was part of the group the Weather Underground:
HANNITY: The fact that the president was never asked a lot about the 6 trillion in debt that he accumulated prior to this election, in this first election wasn’t asked about his association with Bill Ayers was troublesome to me, I think we’ve got a media that’s not as critical as perhaps it once was in, for example, the days of Watergate.
WOODWARD: Well, I agree with that. We need to be very aggressive and it’s one of the judges that said democracies die in darkness and I really think that’s true.
Obama’s alleged connections to Ayers were covered extensively throughout the 2008 presidential campaign. Obama was even asked about the story during the Democratic Party primary debate in Philadelphia on April 16, 2008 by moderator George Stephanopoulos. “This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who’s a professor of English in Chicago who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from,” Obama said. “He’s not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis. And the notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was eight years old, somehow reflects on me and my values doesn’t make much sense, George.”
Hannity continues to tout Obama’s relationship with Ayers, which Woodward apparently sees as the mark of a real journalist. “I get calls and e-mails from people telling me I’m insane to come on your show,” Woodward said. “I say, now, wait a minute, you let me say what I want. You dig into things. You — there is no bleep out button.”