Friday, September 07, 2018

1993 Open Letter to Bob Woodward




Dear Bob,

A belated thank you for those times we talked on the air. I was especially fond of the one we did about your book on Alan Greenspan.  

You pump these things out with the regularity of an atomic clock and they’re all good reads.  Probably, your new one about trump will be equally well told.  I’ll let you know when it arrives.

No way to know for sure, but it looks like the conclusion your readers will draw from it that you’re not celebrating the president’s triumphs with him and maybe even don’t think he’s doing a very good job.

If so, I agree with you completely.  It’s not necessary to enumerate the reasons here -- or probably anywhere else.  If they are not apparent to people, there’s something wrong under America’s hood.

But that’s not the point. The point is how do you get some of those juicy quotes that are the hallmark of everything you’ve published since before Watergate?  Oh, sure, there are many former White House types who’ll go on the record.  Former Secretary of State ReXXon was certainly among them when he called the Godfather an (expletive deleted) moron.  Would that he had written a book.

Of course, that’s not always profitable.  For example, Sean Spicer, the beleaguered former press secretary seems to be mired in a start-up slump.  Amazon ranks his tell-all as the 36-thousandth of its “best sellers.” That puts it slightly higher than “The Little Engine that Could” and a little lower than “War and Peace” in Esperanto.

And Sean’s TV flogging tour ended up with him as the floggee. People saw him and instantly switched channels.

Bannon’s having trouble digging himself out of the mud, too.  But with Bannon, it’s real mud.  With Spicer it’s something closer to quicksand.

You won’t have that problem.  People like you, even those who are slightly disappointed when you don’t look as suave as Robert Redford. And many respect you.

But those quotes, Bob.

One sure way to prove someone said something in private is when they deliver a Dolby Surround Sound high volume denial in public.  OK, that takes care of Kelly and Mattis. You probably missed a punctuation mark or put one in where it didn’t belong.  But you can be pretty sure when they shout “It’s Not Me!” from the mountaintop that it’s them.

I wish you mega sales.  But before you start the media tour, would you please tell us where you rented you Ouija board?

Note to readers:  The sensational assertions in the book were quickly overshadowed by the sensational assertions in the New York Times’ publication of an anonymously written Op-ed column about conditions in the trump White House. We’ll tackle that one Monday.  And no one’s going to be happy with it, least of all the political hacks and other news wannabes who never made it past reading weather forecasts on the radio or compiling the “Weekend Calendar” in the Dogpatch Daily Dispatch and quickly finding more remunerative work in occupations many journalists consider private sector welfare.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
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© WJR 2018


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