Bob Woodward is getting it from all sides.
You've heard the uproar over the famed Watergate sleuth's taking two years to reveal that he was leaked the name of CIA agent Valerie Plame. Now the widow of John Belushi has recruited a gang of the late comic's friends to pay back Woodward for "Wired," his grim 1985 bio of her husband.
After the "SNL" player OD'd, Judy Belushi Pisano encouraged all of his pals to talk to Woodward, who, like John, had grown up in Wheaton, Ill.
She now tells us: "Woodward was the wrong guy [to write that book]. I was foolish."
So she and Tanner Colby have assembled "Belushi: A Biography," a just-published collection of affectionate memories of John — and unaffectionate ones of Woodward.
"It was my first experience of getting tricked by a journalist," says Belushi's "Continental Divide" co-star Blair Brown. "I really felt betrayed, and it made me question all of his other work."
Writer Mitch Glazer recalls that all Woodward wanted to hear about was Belushi's drug use. "Whenever I started telling him the good things about John, he would literally put down his pen and wait for me to finish," says Glazer.
"'Wired' has so many things wrong," says "Blues Brothers" director John Landis, who told Woodward how he and Belushi "sobbed and huggged" after he flushed a mound of Belushi's coke down the toilet. "That book has me giving John some big roundhouse, John Wayne punch in the face, and it's just not true."
Al Franken remembers seeing Woodward in the office of "SNL" producer Lorne Michaels. "I went over to [Woodward] and said, 'Well, you know, the only time I ever saw John snorting coke was with [Woodward's colleague] Carl Bernstein.' And that was the last I ever heard from him." (Franken assures us that he was just kidding.)
Writer Tony Hendra says Woodward "certainly gave the impression he didn't like Belushi very much. He wasn't interested in the guy's achievements in any way. He was out to prove that Belushi was symptomatic of some generational defect, which I felt was contemptible."
Woodward declined to comment on the charges. But Judy says, "I'm not angry anymore. I just felt it was something that needed to be put straight."