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Yale-on-Yale Beltway smackdown!

Okay, that headline's probably a little tabloid-y for your alumni magazine, but it suggests the breathlessness with which the political interwebs are reporting a supposed threat by White House economic adviser Gene Sperling ’85JD to journalist Bob Woodward ’65. Woodward, as you may have read, has been especially critical this week of President Obama's position on the sequestration crisis, arguing that the president was "moving the goalposts" by asking for tax hikes as part of a deal to prevent the automatic budget cuts that will otherwise go into effect tomorrow.

Then, on Tuesday, Woodward suggested to Politico and others that a White House aide (later revealed to be Sperling) threatened him over his coverage in an e-mail. (E-mail? Whatever happened to parking garages?) The media leaped at the story, but when the full text of the e-mails was released, it wasn't so clear. What Woodward described as a threat was when Sperling, in arguing that Woodward had his story wrong, wrote, "But I do truly believe you should rethink your comment about saying saying that Potus asking for revenues is moving the goal post. I know you may not believe this, but as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim."

Is he suggesting he'll be sorry because he's wrong, or because the White House would retaliate against him? Opinion seems to be coming down on the side of the former at this point, but I'll bet Woodward and Sperling will be keeping their distance at the Yale Club of DC's book club meeting next Wednesday.

Filed under Bob Woodward, Gene Sperling
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