White House Counsel Greg Craig circulated a memo inside the West Wing earlier this month instructing officials hit up for information by authors or journalists writing on the administration to clear interview requests with the press office. An Obama spokesman told The New Republic that the memo was not sent in regards to a specific journalist, but Beltway insiders say the White House probably is taking pains to avoid leaks to the Washington Post icon.
"Every White House is wary of Woodward," New York Times White House correspondent Peter Baker, who worked alongside Woodward at the Post, told The New Republic.
Woodward, who has been quietly reporting a new book on the Obama White House since the inauguration, is seen as highly motivated to hit a homerun after his last project, "The War Within" -- the fourth and final book he wrote on the Bush administration -- only sold 159,000 copies, according to Nielsen BookScan. His third Bush installment, "State of Denial," sold more than half a million.
Woodward told The New Republic he's "making progress" on the Obama book.
"Over my four decades of working on books, you find that some people will help, some people won't help," Woodward told the magazine. "Some will help at certain stages and not at others, some people won't help at the beginning but will help later on. That's reporting."