Journalist Kathleen Parker thinks that the alleged threat against famed journalist Bob Woodward merits attention as it reflects on the Obama White House and their attitude toward the press. The Washington Post published her opinion piece on March 1 entitled, “Why the ‘threat’ on Bob Woodward matters.”
Kathleen Parker writes that many people outside of the Washington area will not see the serious nature of the remark made to Bob Woodward by Gene Sperling that has been characterized as a threat. Neither will many view the press exclusion from the Tiger Woods golf game as a significant event, but Parker sees both of these incidents as being indicative of a “gentle slide toward a state media.”
Unlike many journalists who have covered the Bob Woodward/Gene Sperling emails, Kathleen Parker quickly acknowledges that Bob Woodward’s stature as a journalist emeritus in Washington would preclude his being intimidated by a White House aide. Parker explains that it is the assumption that Woodward could be intimidated into not performing his job that is significant.
We are reminded that a free press stands as a watchman in our democracy, but technology has made it possible for a president to get a message out without the necessity of the media. Kathleen Parker sums up her thoughts in this quote from the Washington Post:
Yes, all administrations are sensitive to criticism, and all push back when such criticism is deemed unfair or inaccurate. But no president since Richard Nixon has demonstrated such overt contempt for the messenger. And, thanks to technological advances in social media, Obama has been able to bypass traditional watchdogs as no other president has.