I just can't figure out what's gotten into Woodward, or why he's acting so erratically. But at this point, it seems Woodward is doing lasting, possibly irreparable harm to his once-sterling reputation, and that is a genuine shame.Jonathan Chait does a good job of reminding us that perhaps Woodward is not the god of journalism we've often assumed him to be.
To reconcile Woodward’s journalistic reputation with the weird pettiness of his current role, one has to grasp the distinction between his abilities as a reporter and his abilities as an analyst. Woodward was, and remains, an elite gatherer of facts. But anybody who has seen him commit acts of political commentary on television has witnessed a painful spectacle. As an analyst, Woodward is a particular kind of awful — a Georgetown Wise Man reliably and almost invariably mouthing the conventional wisdom of the Washington Establishment.I agree, I've seen Woodward on television doing political commentary. And "Washington Establishment" pretty much nails it...the very bubble President Obama does everything he can to avoid.
That's why what Woodward is doing matters. And Noam Scheiber nailed it.
There is a body of respectable Washington opinion that considers Obama unworthy of the presidency: he hadn’t put in his time before running, didn’t grasp the majesty of the office, evinced no respect for the way things were done. He not only won without courting the city’s elders, he had the bad manners to keep his distance even after winning. This is the view Woodward distills.Scheiber didn't say it but I will...the black guy didn't pay his proper respects to the white good-ole-boys club.
That club is the heart of the beast in its death throes. Woodward is simply the latest to be howling at its demise.