So Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward is working on a book that's to be a behind-the-scenes look at the Obama White House. (See Gabriel Sherman's piece in The New Republic, "Plan of Attack: Bob Woodward Vs the White House." ) Woodward's ability to get high-level people to talk on the record and to reveal embarrassing details about government decision-making is legendary. Sherman quotes George Stephanopoulos' 1999 memoir, All Too Human to explain Woodward's reporting style:
"He flashes a glimpse of what he knows, shaded in a largely negative light, with the hint of more to come, setting up a series of prisoner's dilemmas in which each prospective source faces a choice: Do you cooperate and elaborate in return (you hope) for learning more and earning a better portrayal--for your boss and yourself? Or do you call his bluff by walking away in the hope that your reticence will make the final product less authoritative and therefore less damaging? If no one talks, there is no book. But someone--then everyone--always talks."
- "Plan of Attack: Bob Woodward Vs the White House."
- Bob Woodward Wikipedia entry.
- 10 Things Obama Should Learn from Bush, by Bob Woodward