In what’s turning into an epic battle between two of Washington’s major players and authors, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s office today issued a pointed slap-down of Washington Post editor and author Bob Woodward’s point-by-point criticism of Rumsfeld’s book, Known and Unknown, which he dubbed “one big clean-up job, a brazen effort to shift blame to others.”…
In the posting, Urbahn slapped the journalist’s style of reporting and suggested that Woodward’s Foreign Policy review was payback for Rumsfeld refusing to cooperate with past Woodward book projects. “The well known story about Bob Woodward is that he practices what is derided as ‘access journalism,’ whereby he favors those who provide him with information and gossip and leak against their colleagues. Those who refuse to play along, such as Donald Rumsfeld, then pay the price,” wrote the Rumsfeld aide.
Woodward’s review was harsh, picking passages of Rumsfeld’s book to challenge and criticize. An editor’s note to the review says, “Few people know the ins and outs of the Bush administration as well as the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward, who is flat-out disgusted with the evasions and elisions in Donald Rumsfeld’s new book.” After that, Woodward begins with a passage of Rumsfeld’s book then adds, “Rumsfeld’s memoir is one big clean-up job, a brazen effort to shift blame to others–including President Bush–distort history, ignore the record or simply avoid discussing matters that cannot be airbrushed away. It is a travesty, and I think the rewrite job won’t wash.”
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