Monday :: Nov 28, 2005

Why The Bush White House Likes Woodward

by Steve

Mary Matalin tells us why the Bush Administration considers Bob Woodward as the unofficial court biographer:

During the Bush years, Woodward has enjoyed what seems like unfettered access to the likes of Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Andrew Card and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. His highest-level source is Bush himself, who has granted him several long, on-the-record interviews and ordered Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who initially turned down Woodward, to cooperate with the reporter.
Mary Matalin, a former aide to Cheney, says Woodward does "an extraordinary job" and "works like a dog." But outsiders often wonder: Why does an administration not known for being fond of the press put so much effort into cooperating with Woodward?
"There is a really deep respect for his work, and a deep desire by the president to have a contemporaneous, historically accurate account," Matalin says. "The president rightly believed that Woodward, for good and ill, warts and all, would chronicle what happened. It's in the White House's interest to have a neutral source writing the history of the way Bush makes decisions. That's why the White House gives him access."

Yet take a look at the “scoops” that Woodward gleaned from his access (which the Bush team has fed to Woodward to gain this special treatment from him), and note that none of them actually do Bush any harm:

The book (“Plan of Attack”) made headlines with reports that Rumsfeld had given the Saudi ambassador a heads-up on the coming war, that then-CIA Director George Tenet had called the weapons intelligence a "slam dunk," and that then-Secretary of State Powell had warned Bush on Iraq that "you break it, you own it." Campaign aides to both Bush and John Kerry embraced the book, seizing on different aspects.

The book also revealed that Bush was more concerned with doing right by God than he was with listening to any advice from his father. Again, the American Taliban base loves that stuff, and the base doesn’t care about any of the backstage stuff. But did Woodward use any of that access to chronicle whether or not the Administration manipulated intelligence, lied to the American people, or conducted a disinformation campaign to lead the nation into war? Nope, even though reporters on his own paper right underneath his nose were reporting doubts about the Administration’s claims while Woodward was too busy kissing Bush’s ass. Did Woodward right anything of substance about how the war itself was timed as a political tool? Nope.

In fact, if Woodward was still any kind of reporter instead of a court biographer, he would be using his access to write a book about how the wheels are coming off an administration that is led by a man who separates himself from reality. Or how the president is fully a "hear no evil" leader now.

But don’t expect to see a book like that any time soon from Woodward. The White House has its whores well-placed in the Beltway, and at the head of that list is Bob Woodward.

Steve :: 7:48 AM :: Comments (10) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!