The White House -- yes, THE WHITE HOUSE -- has released the taped phone conversation between administration economic adviser Gene Sperling and Washington Post editor Bob Woodward. The tape confirms the allegations made by Woodward that he was indeed threatened by Sperling during their initial phone conversation.
When asked by CNN's Ed Henry why the White House would release such a damning tape which proves that Woodward was threatened, Press Secretary Jay Carney replied, "Because we want the Washington Press Corps to know that we're not fucking around anymore; we have the power, and we're gonna use it. Cross this administration at your own peril."
A transcript of Sperling's tirade below the fold:
BOB WOODWARD: Hey there Gene, Bob Woodward. What can I do for you?"
GENE SPERLING: Who the fuck is GENE, Bob? Don't you mean, 'Mr. Sperling'? Who the FUCK do you think you're talking to, you washed-up has-been?
WOODWARD: Whoa, Ge -- I mean -- Mr. Sperling...I'm sorry about that. Can we just start over?
SPERLING: I don't have time for your games, Woodward -- just shut the fuck up and listen...very carefully, because you're about to find out how hard it is to type out a column with no fingers. Do I have your attention, Bob?
WOODWARD: Yes, s-s-sir, Mr. S-S-Sperling, sir.
SPERLING: You want to write about The Sequester, Bob? Let me tell you about another sequester that took place right under your nose that went unreported. Remember your colleague, David Broder? I saw you at his funeral service, so I know you know who I'm talking about. Well, Bob, you, and everyone else, thinks that Dave kicked the bucket due to natural causes. But I'm calling to tell you that Broder is very much alive.
SPERLING: That's right, Bob. Alive. Oh, he wishes he were dead. He begs to die. You see, Broder wrote some pretty unflattering things about my boss, so we had him sequestered to our Blacksite at Kink Studios in San Franacisco where we've had his [Woodward sobbing - inaudible] stretched to 4 times its natural circumference. We put a leather hood over his head and with the money we've made selling those videos, we've just about reached our goal for paying for Obama's presidential library to be built in Chicago, Bob. That's right, Chicago. Al Capone's Chicago. Mayor Daley's Chicago. Rahm's Chicago. THAT Chicago. Get what I'm saying, Bob?
WOODWARD: [sobbing]...Mr. Sperling, please...
SPERLING: That's good, Bob. I can tell by your sniveling that we're on the same page. Just so there's no misunderstanding Bob, allow me to spell out the difference between my boss and Nixon, who you recently intimated my boss is beginning to sound like. Nixon, ha! With his quaint 'Enemies List'. You know what we got that Nixon never had, Bob? We got a 'Kill List', Bob. And drones. And Blacksites. And all those CIA videos from the Bush administration to show us exactly how to effectively bend a person to our will. And we have the AUMF which makes it all perfectly legal, Bob. And if that's not enough, we have a Nobel Peace Prize as our trump card -- as if any rational person would believe it possible for a Nobel Laureate to engage in the sort of tactics I'm spelling out for you right now.
WOODWARD: [blubbering] Oh my God...please, Mr. Sperling...
SPERLING: Now Bob, if I read any more about how this sequester is the fault of the president in any of your cloumns, I'm gonna come over to your office and strangle you with my [Woodward wailing - inaudible] and then go over to your house and [Woodward hysterical - inaudible] your widow with the murder weapon. Then I'll find Bernstein and kill him just for having worked with you -- and he's one of our guys. Hell, he's penciled in to give Hillary's nominating speech at the 2016 convention. But I'll off him just to send a message to the rest of you fucking hacks that we mean business. Got it, Bob? Hope so. Have a nice day.