Here's a tweet Josh Marshall wrote this morning:
Given time duration, now wondering whether right's brief enrapture with Woodward counts as fling or one night stand— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) February 28, 2013
A few hours ago, in my comments, Aimai wrote:
Woodward's "I saw Obama biting the heads off small children" moment was over in an absolute flash.... The outrage spin cycle seems to be moving faster and faster and rinsing out rather fully.Even Politico, which turned the non-threat of Woodward into a phony story in the first place, now quotes a large number of journalists who say it was absurd to regard what Gene Sperling e-mailed to Woodward as a threat.
So the story's over ... right?
Not everywhere. Here's the front page of FoxNews.com as I type:
Fox Nation is, similarly, still giving Woodward a banner headline. Fox News Insider just posted an item headlined "Mark Levin Blasts White House for Woodward Threats: 'We Have an Imperial President Who Doesn't Want to Debate Opposition.'" And if Sean Hannity has canceled his "exclusive interview" with Woodward on Fox tonight, I haven't heard about it.
People who are paying attention now realize that the threat story is an embarrassment -- but the lumpen audience for right-wing rage is presumed not to know any such thing, or to be inclined to skepticism about the debunking. Fox assumes the angry base still believes Obama is a press-threatening bully because Fox-style propaganda has persuaded the base that Obama is a vicious, jackbooted totalitarian (when he's not a pathetic, Teleprompter-dependent, mom-jeans-wearing stumblebum). So the story is still alive in Fox Land.
Aimai, in her comment, writes:
the outrages that they are manufacturing seem to be more and more disconnected even from the fantasy horrors of their base. This woodward thing is so transparently a mere fraud on the press itself--it has nothign to do even with the reflex "chicago politics" and "obama is a thug" masturbatory fantasies of the base.Well, now that you mention it.... Let's go to the Web site of Joe the Plumber -- no, seriously -- and check out a post by Wurzelbacher collaborator Rodney Lee with the totally not-racist title "Barack Thugs-N-Harmony":
Why is everyone so surprised? No one who's been paying attention at all over the past 40 years in Illinois is even batting an eye that Bob Woodward, of all people, has been threatened by the White House. These are folks from Illinois, folks. You know, Daley, Rostenkowski, Blagojevich, Daley, George Ryan, and for you old-schoolers -- Dan Walker or Paul Powell -- take your pick...This is going to be like birtherism -- it's never going to go away. The crazies are going to tell us until they draw their last breaths that Obama threatened poor, innocent Bob Woodward, because thuggishness is central to Obama's nature and endemic to the political culture from which he emerged.
People in Illinois who are able to string two sentences together knew who David Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett, Rahm Emmanuel, and Alice Palmer were, and when Barack Obama was elected President [in 2008], there was a big "you ain't seen nothing yet" being muttered across the Land 'O Lincoln.
They knew what was coming to DC: Illinois-style villains, criminals, hucksters and hustlers. Nothing off-limits or off the table. Full-blown lies and corruption the likes of which the rest of the country apparently wasn't ready for. In Illinois, it's a political culture that's been in place for more than 100 years....
You think they need Bob Woodward on their side? He's more useful as an example to all other "journalists" who might think about veering off the program for a minute....
It's just one more item in the billion-count indictment of Obama they all keep in their heads, but Fox and certain other media outlets know that you can never stoke too much anger in these people, and there are very few stories that are too crazy for the rubes to believe. I call it ignorance arbritrage -- if you can't sell the notion of Obama-as-thug to people who are paying attention, there are plenty of low-info voters who'll be happy to buy it.