The myth of Bob Woodward as a liberal hero

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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You’d be hard pressed to find a journalist who has inspired more liberals to join the professional ranks than Bob Woodward. Yet, the moment Woodward reported that President Obama was misleading the nation regarding his position on the sequester, the long knives were out for him.

There were numerous — almost immediate — rebukes. The most interesting came from Ezra Klein, who referred to the legendary investigative journalist as a “colleague” (a designation which is simultaneously true and utterly presumptuous — tantamount to my referring to Lou Cannon as a “former colleague”.)

In case you thought they were about to accuse Woodward of having abandoned the faith — or gone senile — you would be wrong. You see, it turns out that Bob Woodward was never really a liberal, after all. Despite taking down Nixon, Woodward was always on the side of the powerful conservative establishment.

At least, that’s the revisionist history being floated by Esquire’s Charles P. Pierce.

“The actual liberal heroes [of Watergate] were people like John Sirica, Archibald Cox, Elliot Richardson, and Peter Rodino,” Pierce assures us. “Only after these people did their work did Woodward and Bernstein — which latter actually was a liberal — get lumped into the great lefty conspiracy to bring down Richard Nixon.”

“[Woodward is] no more a liberal than he is a member of Motley Crue,” Pierce insists. “He’s a courtier to all the right people, the scribe to powerful. He’s a journalistic Sadducee. He tends the Temple grounds.”

If you want a good indication of the level of fealty reserved for the president by the media, their willingness to so cavalierly sacrifice the avatar of liberal journalism on the altar of Obama is a pretty good indication.

(Also, a note to Pierce: It’s Mötley Crüe.)

Matt K. Lewis