ongtime journalist Bob Woodward’s best-selling new book, “Fear,” presents a scathing depiction of President Donald Trump and his ability to perform his duties as commander-in-chief.
While senior Trump officials including Secretary of Defense James Mattis have denied quotations attributed to them in the book, media coverage of “Fear” has been largely positive, emphasizing the 75-year-old Woodward’s experience and trustworthiness.
But that coverage has left out part of the story: repeated, credible charges — including from well-respected fellow journalists — that in previous books Woodward embellished the truth, made dubious bombshell claims or was otherwise misleading.
Woodward’s former editor at the Washington Post, Ben Bradlee, though publicly complimentary of Woodward, privately doubted some of the more dramatic elements of Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s Watergate-era bestseller, “All The President’s Men.”
Bradlee and Woodward’s former assistant at the Post, Jeff Himmelman, revealed Bradlee’s nagging doubts in a 2012 biography of the longtime editor.
Bradlee gave Himmelman full access to his files, which revealed that details about Woodward’s relationship with infamous Watergate source “Deep Throat” gnawed at Bradlee years later. Details such as Woodward communicating with Deep Throat by placing a flag in a potted plant on his balcony, or their dozens of shadowy garage meetings.
“You know I have a little problem with Deep Throat,” Bradlee said to an assistant in a 1990 interview that he originally intended to use for a memoir but which remained private until Himmelman published his book.