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Has the left turned on Bob Woodward? (+video)

After going head-to-head with the White House over the origins of the 'sequester,' Bob Woodward is receiving flak from Democrats while the conservatives count him as their 'new hero.'

By Staff Writer / March 1, 2013

Bob Woodward speaks during a function at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, Calif., in April 2011. The prominent Washington journalist said the press is focusing too much on his quarrel with the White House.

Alex Gallardo/Reuters/File

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Does the left now have its metaphorical knives out for Bob Woodward? It sure seems that way at the moment. Many Democrats are deeply peeved at what they consider to be distortions in Mr. Woodward’s account of President Obama and the origins of sequestration. They’ve scoffed at reports that the hero of Watergate felt threatened by the White House’s own response to his charges.

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Washington Editor

Peter Grier is The Christian Science Monitor's Washington editor. In this capacity, he helps direct coverage for the paper on most news events in the nation's capital.

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“Woodward’s act is getting painfully old, and I don’t plan to pay any more attention to his feverish efforts to stay in the limelight,” writes Ed Kilgore, senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute, in a typical response.

Conservatives are gleeful about this and count Woodward as a “new hero," according to a headline in Friday’s New York Times. The right-wing website Breitbart.com compiled a list of what it described as lefty-leaning mainstream media types who are now, in Breitbart’s words, “throwing Woodward under a bus."

What’s going on here? Why the partisan divide? As you might expect we’ve got some comments on those questions.

Woodward's never been a liberal. Neither has the man who helped bring down President Nixon ever seemed a conservative. In recent decades he’s been something of an establishmentarian, reflecting the conventional wisdom of Washington insiders with his long, detailed books about policymaking in various administrations.

That means it would be dangerous for the right to anoint him one of their own. Next thing you know he’ll say something that outrages them. During an appearance on NBC’s “Today” show Friday, Woodward was already touting a possible move by Senate Republicans to accept some new tax revenues in a sequester-fix deal. That’s not going to make the House GOP happy.

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