If you’re into minor political scandals (and why wouldn’t you be?), you have no doubt heard of the Bob Woodward-Gene Sperling skirmish. What you may not know is that the clash has resulted in the retelling of an entertaining anectode about Sperling’s time as a Wharton grad student.
First, the back story: Woodward, a renowned investigative political journalist (the same Woodward who broke the Nixon Watergate scandal), has accused Gene Sperling, an Obama economic advisor, of attempting to intimidate him out of taking the angle that the sequester originated with the administration. Sperling, in an email to Woodward, wrote, “I think you will regret staking out that claim.”
You can decide for yourself whether or not Sperling’s words constitute a threat. But one thing’s certain: Sperling has engaged in this behavior before. According to alum and The Atlantic writer Jeffrey Goldberg, when Sperling was a columnist and Goldberg an editor at the Daily Pennsylvanian, Sperling once told Goldberg he would “rue the day” he cut Sperling’s column. Having had a few stories cut by DP editors myself, I sympathize with Sperling: