October 8, 2006

Woodward reports truth, pisses off Cheney

Bob Woodward is an opportunistic hack. I've thought so for years and just because he's exposed the White House as a bunch of lying arrogant incompetents who value image and propaganda over truth, it doesn't change my opinion of him.

When the administration was riding high and the pro-Bush industry was humming along, Woodward put out a couple books which were the equivalent of wet kisses to the Bush administration. They portrayed Bush as a courageous, steely-eyed leader and played right into the image the White House wanted to convey.

And Woodward also came out, way, way late in the game, and admitted that he'd been told about Valerie Plame long before the other reporters who got caught up in that scandal, yet had said nothing to his editors or anyone else. He said he didn't mention it because he wanted to avoid a subpoena, but he knew about it far before U.S. attorney Peter Fitzgerald even had begun his probe into the matter.

But now apparently Woodward sees more dollar signs in telling the truth about Bush/Cheney and the gang, since he no longer depends on access to them to make his pile of money.

When it counted, he instead toed the line and wrote what would please the White House in exchange for unprecedented access. But now that he's already milked it for two books, he finally comes out and tells the truth, since he can afford to burn his bridges now.

Woodward was a guest on the last 15 minutes of Meet the Press this morning and he didn't pull any punches.

As a matter of fact, he plainly stated that the Bushniks have lied to the world about Iraq and still are doing so.

He also displayed on camera a classified document to dispute one of the attacks the White House has launched against him.

It was a line graph showing the level of hostile attacks in Iraq and it went up at nearly a 45 degree angle, including a steep rise in the last several months. That was the truth, Woodward noted, NOT what Bush and Cheney are always trying to sell the American people.

And then near the end, he provided this little insight into Dick Cheney's warm and cuddly nature:
MR. RUSSERT: Have you spoken to the president or the vice president since this book came out?

MR. WOODWARD: The vice president called me I guess as it was coming out 10 days ago.


MR. WOODWARD: Well, he called to complain that I was quoting him about the meetings with Henry Kissinger that he and the president had. I had interviewed Vice President Cheney last year a couple of times at length about material I'm gathering on the Ford administration, on-the-record interviews, but he volunteered, he said, "Oh, by the way, Henry Kissinger comes in" and he, Dick Cheney, sits down with him once a month and the president every two or three months. And Cheney was upset I was quoting him. And I said, "Look, this 'on-the-record' doesn't have anything to do with Ford, you volunteered that." He then used a word which I can't repeat on the air. And I said, "Look, on the record is on the record," and he hung up on me.

MR. RUSSERT: What, what do you mean, he swore at you?

MR. WOODWARD: He, he said what I was saying was bull-something.

MR. RUSSERT: Let me turn to Tony...

MR. WOODWARD: No, but he, but he hung up. Now, look, I can, I can see, I went back and looked at the transcript that he can't ever had a disagreement about ground rules with someone. Have you?

MR. RUSSERT: Well, he thought he was talking, he thought he was talking to you for one project and you used it in another project.

MR. WOODWARD: Well, exactly. But it had nothing to do with it, and it's clearly spelled out that it's an on-the-record interview. And so, now, what does he do instead of saying, "Well, OK, I look at it this way, you look at it that way." It's a metaphor for what's going on. Hang up when somebody has a different point of view or information you don't want to deal with.
The transcript of the Woodward interview can be found beginning near the bottom of this page or you can watch the entire program here or search on "Woodward" to find clips of the Woodward portion only.


At 10/08/2006 2:57 PM, Blogger nicodemus said...

of the 3 books you mention, I read Woodward's first one "Bush at War" but never read the second. Tell me, what was that one about and what is your opinion of it?
This new one- I leafed through it and it looked kind of boring. I will wait to get it used.
My favorites by Woodward are "The Agenda" about the early Clinton administration, and of course "Wired" about Belushi.

At 10/08/2006 3:18 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

The book in question is "Plan of Attack" and reports on what went on in the administration in the run up to the Iraq invasion.

It details how Bush was absolutly determined to have his war no matter what, and against the advise of Powell and many others.

Essentially, it's an uncritical account of what happened in the the White House during that critical period and will serve as a record for history of how irrresponsible Bush and Cheney were (and are).

There are some pretty startling things revealed in the book that make Bush and his cronies look very bad, but that Bush and the others probably could't even realize see as embarassing. They probably think it makes them look good.

The largely unknown fact that this war was the first massively "out-sourced" war is also documented with hundreds of billions of your money being paid to Halliburton and other companies owned or controlled by right wing activists, Bush campaign fund-raisers, and other connected Republicans. It was as much as possible, a Republican war party, with hundreds of billions of pay-off for those who supported it and Bush.

"Wired" was roundly condemned by the Belushi family and others. All I ever heard was Dan Ackroyd and others who know Belushi condemning Woodward for it.

At 10/08/2006 6:28 PM, Blogger nicodemus said...

If Plan of Attack reveals what you have just described, then is it not "critical" ?

I recall another good book Woodward did, VEIL about the CIA and covert wars under Reagan. In those days, I was active in the peace/progressive movement myself and back then I was A LOT more appalled by the contras and the death squads in Central America than what I am nowadays with what we are doing in Iraq.

Yes, Wired was condemned by those around Belushi, in the same spirit that the White House condemns this book. My guess is that Wired was fairly close to the mark, otherwise John Belushi would be alive today and making B-movies and bad sitcoms along with the best of them.

At 10/09/2006 6:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Woodward has always struck me as a very talented journalist with incredible access that has abusively bent his niche into that of a selfishly timed historian author. The nation needs the former more than the latter.

At 10/15/2006 10:04 AM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

Cheny being pissed is hardly news...

Woodward's interview on 60 minutes was quite engaging and informative.


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