Bob Woodward’s ‘Deep Threat’ Brouhaha

Bob Woodward has come forward with some outrageous claims in the last few days, asserting that he was “yelled at for about half an hour” by an Obama administration official. In an hour long interview with Jim Vandehei and Mike Allen for Politico, the newspaperman who came to fame for helping to break the Watergate story in the 1970s had emails to back up his story.

According to Politico, the unnamed supposedly high level Obama administration aide wrote this:

“I apologize for raising my voice in our conversation today. But perhaps we will just not see eye to eye here. I think you will regret staking out that claim.”

Ooh. Scary stuff. When Woodward said that he’d been “threatened” on MSNBC’s Morning Joe TV program, Twitter went wild. From “Deep Throat” to “Deep Threat?” Who could resist that play on words?

But what, exactly, threat did the Obama aide make? That Woodward will feel “regret?” Is that like when your three-year-old says, “You’ll be sorry,” and stomps her little foot? Bob Woodward must be shaking in his shoes.

Glenn Greenwald, writing for the UK’s The Guardian, offered a more skeptical take. In his dry opinion:

“That the Obama administration might actually honor the budget cuts mandated by a law enacted by Congress and signed by Obama infuriates Bob Woodward. How ironic that this comes from the reporter endlessly heralded for having brought down Richard Nixon’s presidency on the ground that Nixon believed himself above the law. Nixon’s hallmark proclamation – ‘When the President does it, that means it is not illegal’ – is also apparently Bob Woodward’s.”

Woodward’s many Twitter fans are not impressed by British doubters. Some random comments from his admirers:

@stevekrak @cnn Not surprising at all. Maybe putting bars on windows and doors of the WH is appropriate. Can’t get em out, lock em up. #Mob

— HippyKilla (@HippyKilla) February 28, 2013

Despite all the outcry, some of it apparently just an excuse to attack Obama’s background, a skeptical person might wonder if Bob Woodward really felt “deeply” threatened. Is it possible that he’s just driving publicity to The Washington Post, where he’s an associate editor? Or is Woodward trying to drive sales to his book, Obama’s Wars? What do you think?

[photo courtesy the Miller Center and Flickr]