The website FishbowlDC, which covers Washington’s political journalists, did a story Monday on a post I did in White House Dossier the same day about what looked like payback by the White House against the Washington Post for doing a tough story about Obama.
FishbowlDC’s Betsy Rothstein – a great reporter unafraid to piss off the Washington Journalism Establishment & Fraternity that she covers – picked up on a line in my piece in which I said that the Washington Post reporter, in addition to being denied a leak ladled out to his competitors, probably “got the full fusillade of profanity-laced fake fury from the White House press office.”
She asked me if I had ever been on the receiving end of such sweetness from the Hope & Change crew. I had. I thought you might like to see the quote I gave her, which she included in her piece. From her article:
Koffler: “I was on the receiving end of profane verbal abuse from White House press aides over stories they didn’t like several times during my coverage of the Obama campaign and Obama White House for Roll Call from about mid-2008 until January 2010,” he said. “But I understand from others the practice continues, with the most recent public example being the nasty treatment of CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson for her reporting on possible perjury by Eric Holder in testimony about the Fast and Furious case.
“I didn’t mind it personally because I understood it was a tactic to intimidate. Some of it was funny. One told me, ‘You’re really going to win a fucking Pulitzer Prize for this one.’ Another, less funny, remarked that my article was ‘horseshit,’ demanding to know sources.
“What really angered me is that this is ultimately suppression of speech. They are clearly trained to attack reporters, and it’s a strategy designed to keep journalists from uncovering facts and reporting the news. This from the ‘openness’ administration. And reporters are in a bind because they need to have good relations with the press office in order to get information that might otherwise go to competitors, which might obviously invite some nasty comments from their editors.”