Okay, so this happened:
Longtime Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward is taking on the White House, saying in multiple interviews that the administration essentially threatened him to try to get him not to write a story.
“I mean, it makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters, ‘you’re going to regret doing something that you believe in.’” Woodward said. “And even though we don’t look at it that way, you do look at it that way. And I think if Barack Obama knew that was part of the communication’s strategy — let’s hope it’s not a strategy, but it’s a tactic that somebody’s employed, and said, look, we don’t go around trying to say to reporters, if you, in an honest way, present something we don’t like, that, you know, you’re going to regret this. And just — it’s Mickey Mouse.”
And then all hell broke loose… especially on the Right.
And then the emails came to light.
And then came the regrets…
“Looks like we were played,” The Daily Caller’s Matt Lewis wrote Thursday morning.
Erick Erickson tweets: Ok wow. Finally read the email to Woodward. I must now move to the “not a threat” camp.
Brit Hume tweets: On one hand, only Woodward can say if he felt threatened by WH email. On the other, hard to imagine feeling threatened by Gene Sperling.
Hot Air: The fact that the “threat” came in the context of an apology seemed unusual even last night; as it is, if the leaked e-mail is accurate, Sperling actually apologized three separate times for getting loud and prefaced the “regret” part with “as a friend.” If he’s threatening him, rather than simply trying to steer him away from a wrong/unhelpful claim, it’s a threat so veiled I can’t see it. But stay tuned; Woodward’s set to appear on Hannity’s show tonight to address this, assuming he doesn’t so so elsewhere earlier in the day.
Bet Bob Woodward is having a few regrets. Woodward really did take trolling to a new level.