In case you haven't noticed, Bob Woodward has turned into quite the Republican cheerleader of late. So it was all the more remarkable that he unequivocally shot down Fox’s “Benghazi is Hillary Clinton’s Watergate” meme.
Even if you missed Woodward getting in bed with Sean Hannity, all you had to do was watch him rave about Paul Ryan on Fox News Sunday yesterday to get a whiff of what my former hero, one of my inspirations to major in journalism, has become. From the transcript:
BOB WOODWARD, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, I spent hours three years ago interviewing Ryan. And first of all, he’s a real conservative. And there’s a time he went to John Boehner, the speaker, and said to the speaker, what we’re talking about are not big ideas.
And, actually, Ryan is the big ideas person. He wants to really reform entitlement spending. I think it’s possible.
And, you know, you see him there, he just kind of vibrates reasonableness. He is calm. And I think he has a possible path to doing some deals with Obama in the last year.
…And Ryan really wants to conserve, wants to fix the government. He talks about big ideas, he talks about things that are deep change, deep reform, and so, you know, it’s a moment to be optimistic if that’s possible.
As Crooks and Liars pointed out, nobody asked Woodward what those “big ideas” were and nobody mentioned that his “bold plan” would cause a lot of suffering for people who are already struggling.
You can’t blame host Chris Wallace for thinking that Woodward was probably a great guest to help with Fox’s “Benghazi is like Watergate” meme. I mean, think of how many times the clip might get replayed! So it must have come as a bit of a letdown when Woodward didn’t go along, even if he did give a thumbs up to the Benghazi investigation for other reasons.
It started with Wallace reviving his complaint that Democrats on the Benghazi committee were not as honorable as Republicans on the Watergate committee.
WALLACE: Are you surprised that not a single Democrat on that committee had a single pointed question for Clinton about the very real issue about what happened in Benghazi?
WOODWARD: Well, Watergate was about a series of crimes, well established. And so, it was the Republicans who eventually turned on Nixon, and it was a bipartisan inquiry. Here, it’s not. It clearly is partisan. And, you know, look—
WALLACE: But the death of those four Americans isn’t partisan.
WOODWARD: No—and there are legitimate questions here.
WALLACE: But they didn’t ask them.
WOODWARD: Yes. Well, but here’s the issue. You have inconsistencies. But there—this is a tragedy. And it should be investigated. You’re right. And she should answer. And, you know, she did or attempted to answer all of those questions. But there’s no crime here on her part. And to try to criminalize this or suggest, as some people have said, oh, she’ll be in jail. There’s no evidence of a crime. There is evidence of inconsistency. I mean, my God, this is our business, our lives. People saying one thing privately and saying something different publicly.
Woodward is completely right here. It’s good to see he still has some journalistic integrity left.
Watch it below, from the October 25 Fox News Sunday.
Woodward’s “Bush’s War” a