Now that the correspondence between Bob Woodward and the White House has been revealed as tame and cordial, conservative commentators are reacting with disappointment to the veteran journalist's claim that he was threatened over his sequestration reporting.
Politico on Thursday posted the emails between Woodward and White House economic adviser Gene Sperling, who told Woodward, "as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim."
"Looks like we were played," The Daily Caller's Matt Lewis wrote Thursday morning.
RedState editor Erick Erickson was also surprised after reading the emails:
Ok wow. Finally read the email to Woodward. I must now move to the "not a threat" camp.— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) February 28, 2013
The Washington Examiner's Byron York agreed:
After reading Sperling-Woodward email, it's nowhere close to a threat. Agree with @mattklewis: People who made big deal of this got played.— Byron York (@ByronYork) February 28, 2013
Fox News political analyst Brit Hume tweeted that it is hard to imagine feeling threatened by Sperling:
On one hand, only Woodward can say if he felt threatened by WH email. On the other, hard to imagine feeling threatened by Gene Sperling.
— Brit Hume (@brithume) February 28, 2013
Keith Urbahn, Donald Rumsfeld's former chief of staff, tweeted:
Vintage Woodward: Cherry-pick a friendly exchange, make it sinister & vault himself into the media. Did it with Rummy in State of Denial.— Keith Urbahn (@keithurbahn) February 28, 2013
Read TPM's timeline of the Woodward-White House spat here.