The PR ramifications of the Woodward-White House dustup

Bob Woodward said a White House aide threatened him an email. Some have said he’s overreacting. Either way, there are lessons for communicators.

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The dustup between Woodward and the White House reportedly began during a conversation in which Woodward told economic aide Gene Sperling about his latest column questioning President Obama’s explanation of the genesis of the sequestration debate.

Apparently, Sperling got a little worked up during the conversation.

Later, Sperling apologized to Woodward in an email and offered this advice, which raised the journalist’s hackles (the emphasis is mine):

“But I do truly believe you should rethink your comment about saying saying [sic] 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.”

Politico published the emails exclusively.

According to Woodward, the email is tantamount to bullying. He told Politico:

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