A day after Washington Post editor Bob Woodward said that he received a threatening email from the White House, another journalist has come forward to announce similar treatment from Barack Obama's staff.
In a Feb. 28 appearance on NewsMax's "Steve Malzberg Show," Newsweek senior editor Jonathan Alter said that he received an "abusive email" from then-Obama campaign spokesperson Robert Gibbs during the 2008 election season. Alter, who is considered as a liberal member of the media, said that the White House often sends a "threatening tone" when journalists get misaligned with the president.
On Thursday, Newsmax's Lanny Davis said that he has also received threats from the White House. The former special counsel to President Bill Clinton said that he and his editor "would lose . . . their White House credentials" if they continued bashing Barack Obama.
In 2008, after Jonathan Alter had written a scathing article on Obama, the candidate's staff retaliated by sending him an "abusive email". Additionally, Alter was placed on a blacklist that prevented him from attending Obama's campaign events while in Berlin, Germany. (Alter left Newsweek and joined Bloomberg in April 2011.)
In the NewsMax interview, Alter said:
There is a kind of a threatening tone . . . from time to time . . . out of these guys [from the] White House . . . And, you know, they should not play that way, but they, they feel like they’re holding the cards in the relationship. They’ve got people’s access, you know, to hold over them.
Though NewsMax is a conservative/right-leaning news site, Jonathan Alter is a left-leaning, progressive reporter which makes the revelation surprising. In 2012, Alter blasted right wing critics of Obama, such as John McCain and Sarah Palin, as "racist tropes". (YouTube Video)
During Thursday's appearance, Alter added:
I remember one time I reported something . . . and we were actually in Berlin. It was on Obama’s [campaign] in 2008. And they didn’t like something that I had reported and I was disinvited to a dinner that night that reporters were having with the candidate. I was told “Don’t come” . . . You know, fairly abusive email.
Alter said that the "abusive email" came from Robert Gibbs. Last week, Gibbs and former Obama senior political adviser David Axelrod joined MSNBC as television analysts and political commentators.
The mainstream media has gone under attack for what many conservatives believe is disproportionately favorable news coverage of the president. Last October, CBS withheld showing a "60 Minutes" interview clip that shows Obama admitting that the Benghazi consulate attacks were a planned attack by terrorists. Hours after four Americans were killed in Libya, administration officials had blamed the deaths on a random demonstration fueled by a YouTube video, a claim which has since been proven false.
As of Feb. 28, Barack Obama has a 51 percent approval rating, according to Gallup.
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