Ultimatum: The final terms presented by one party in a dispute, etc., to another, the rejection of which could cause a breakdown in relations, a declaration of war, an end of cooperation, etc. Oxford English Dictionary.
Many readers will have heard of the Bourne Ultimatum, a Robert Ludlum-inspired movie in which Jason Bourne engages in a battle to the death with out-of-control CIA agents who are determined to eliminate a man whom they had mentally reconfigured to serve as their hired assassin, but who has now recovered his true identity. Well, last week,Bob Woodward, the pre-eminentjournalist for The Washington Post and one of the two investigators who exposed Richard Nixon for his role in the Watergate break-in, received an ultimatum from the hands of of Obama-sycophant, Gene Sperling, currently serving as the chairman of the Chicago machine-politician’s Economic Advisory Council.
I wrote in a recent column about the incident leading up to this ultimatum, namely Woodward’s fingering of Obama as the original source of the March 1, 2013 sequester. Because Woodward is known as a man who speaks truth to power, and because Woodward has exposed, in this instance, not a conservative, but a liberal lie, Obama and his White House advisers are dripping venom as they seek a way to inject their fangs into a supposed traitor to the progressive movement. Like Jason Bourne, Bob Woodward has reconfigured his own mind to understand the true nature of the sinister threat that now confronts him.
“This is no tempest in a teapot but rather the leak in the dike. Drip by drip, the Obama administration has demonstrated its intolerance for dissent and its contempt for any who stray from the White House script. Yes, all administrations are sensitive to criticism, and all push back when such criticism is considered unfair or inaccurate. But no president since Richard Nixon has demonstrated such overt contempt for the messenger. And thanks to technological advances in social media, Obama has been able to bypass traditional watchdogs as no other president has. More to the point, the Obama White House is, to put it politely, fudging as it tries to place the onus of the sequester on Congress…Killing the messenger is a time-honored method of controlling the message, but we have already spilled that blood. And the First Amendment’s protection of a free press, the purpose of which is to check power and constrain government’s ability to dictate the lives of private citizens, was no accident.” Kathleen Parker, ‘Why the Woodward matter matters’, The Washington Post, March 3, 2013
One may reasonably assume that Bob Woodward’s and Kathleen Parker’s kneecaps are safe, at least with respect to the sequester challenge. But there are other ways for a vindictive president to enforce obedience among the press corps:
“Again, Woodward’s kneecaps are probably safe, but the challenge to his facts, and therefore to his character, was unusual, given Woodward’s stature. And how, by the way, might Woodward come to regret it? Sperling’s words, though measured, could be read as: ‘You’ll never set foot in the White House again.” When reporters lose access to the White House, it isn’t about being invited to the annual holiday party. It’s about having access to the most powerful people on the planet as they execute the nation’s business.” Kathleen Parker, ibid.
Whoops, there go a pair of kneecaps!