It's been 1400 days since there was a budget, and the last time Obama proposed one, which he is legally required to do by the Constitution's imperious 'shall,' not even a single Democrat Representative found he was able to vote for it, the document submitted was so ludicrous. On the eve of a 'Grand Bargain' with the Speaker of the House, Obama moved the goalposts and scuttled the deal. The result is that he and his team proposed sequestration, and the Republicans accepted. They caved on higher taxes for the 1%, and Obama was to respond by cutting some of that waste and fraud out of the federal budget, which years ago when he was first a candidate for President he promised to go through line by line.
The sequester was to be a boogeyman so frightening that certainly the budget cutters and revenue seekers would sit down at the table and cut a deal, but in true Obama fashion it became simply an opportunity to kick the can down the road. Obama's handlers were so certain that this 'draconian' session of across the board cuts would never come to pass, that even as it was looming nobody breathed a word against the newly re-elected President's plan to send a message by going on a golfing vacation in Florida. But when the President returned from his hard-earned me time, there was the sequester looming large, though nowhere near as large as $16 trillion in US debt headed towards $17 trillion. So the President did what the President does: he went on a nationwide tour to declare that the 2% of expected increased outlays projected to cover the insane federal expenditures given the American people by the administration and its friends in Congress would be horribly axed if the sequester, proposed by the administration itself, were actually to take place, and that this would be an enormous disaster for the American people in their groveling dependency—which the proggies had done everything they could to cultivate. Furthermore, the President and his spokescreatures insisted that the President had had the very idea of the sequester forced upon him by the evil advocates of the 1%.
Now, this was abject bullshit, but most of the supine MSM didn't really care to recall the course of events very much, and if forced to decided that it was unreasonable behavior on both sides that had brought us to this dreadful pass. Bob Woodward, though, had the audacity to remember quite clearly the series of decisions and decisions deferred that had brought us there, and that is why Obama economic adviser Gene Sperling felt it necessary to call and harangue him for a half hour, and then send him an email stating that Sperling felt that Woodward would regret reporting the matter according to his recollection. Woodward, Sperling held, was missing the forest for the trees. The trees in this case represented the times that the President had actually pushed the sequester, whereas (panning out and up, up, up) the forest represented the evident big-picture fact that the President had had the sequester forced on him by Republican recalcitrance. Woodward, once a liberal hero for helping to bring down the Nixon White House over the Watergate cover-up, did not identify the White House aide, but did explain to Wolf Blitzer that he felt the phone call and the admonition that he would regret the way that he had represented the sequester publicly constituted a threat.
Immediately, the remnants of JournoList leaped into action, heaping scorn on the sudden has-been. A mere two days after Robert Bork posthumously revealed that President Nixon had tried to bribe him to dismiss Archibald Cox, Matt Yglesias opined on Twitter that Woodward's heresy had made him think that perhaps Nixon got a raw deal from Woodward. David Plouffe reared his head to state that Woodward ought to be put out to pasture. The White House decided that due to their intense push-back against Woodward, it should be BuzzFeed that got the scoop regarding the identity of the Senior White House Aide that had leaned on Woodward to amend his recollections. Mere days after Jay Carney fled the podium under questioning regarding $500k donations to Obama's unaffiliated Organizing for Action purchasing access to the most transparent and ethical President evah, and after Ben Carson revealed that the White House had on several occasions attempted to get him to submit a copy of his Prayer Breakfast speech for their approval, and after several outlets had decided to excise the First Lady's false statement that a Chicago girl had been killed with an automatic weapon, the President's media functionaries were demonizing and denegrating a journalist who had clearly outlived his usefulness. And as all of this was going on, Sharyl Attkisson was Tweeting out a series of White House failures to reveal information regarding the Benghazi massacre.
Woodward had felt that Sperling had tried to censor him in effect, so the only logical thing for Obama's media hacks to do was to try to bully him into submission. If Woodward regarded Sperling's call and email as a promise to inflict punishment, then certainly he must be punished for so saying. Obama's role in the sequester, the administration's role in Benghazi, the relation of OFA to White House access and all the rest were matters of interpretation, but Woodward's expression of his points of view was objectively false and evil, and he would have to pay.