Wednesday

deep throat

As the eldest child of 1970s liberal, California journalists, suffice it to say that I was taken to see "All the President's Men" more than once. (The parents wouldn't let us watch mainstream TV-- too commercial and trite -- but did make sure we had the living daylights scared out of us by truly important movies like ATPM and "The China Syndrome." No nukes! But I digress)

Anyway, discussions of who Deep Throat might be dominated many a dinner table conversation at my house from the time I was 6 years old. Each family member had his or her theory.

And today, even though I work in a newsroom, I first got word of the possible revelation of Deep Throat not from the AP wire or a reporter, but from a former reporter (turned PR flack), my mother, who sent me an e-mail with exclamation points in the subject line.

And only an hour or two later, Woodward and Bernstein confirmed it. It's W. Mark Felt.

A couple of things struck me about this huge news today. First of all, as my little brother pointed out to me when we talked about it on the phone, it's very ironic that the Washington Post didn't get to break its own huge story. It was scooped by Vanity Fair; competitive journalism was sacrificed on the altar of good journalism. What I mean is, even though it meant losing the story, Woodward and Bernstein kept their pledge of anonymity until the source himeslf revealed it. Bummer for the Post.

Second of all, I had always assumed that when and if the identity of DT was ever revealed, it would turn out he did it for all the right reasons -- because Nixon and his people were lying and stealing and breaking the law. As it turns out, however, Felt fed info to Woodward and Bernstein because he was upset with Nixon at being passed over for the FBI's top spot. No altruism there.

Third, when I read the Vanity Fair article, I was rather shocked to learn that Felt's own middle-aged daughter had NO IDEA who Bob Woodward was when he came by her house recently to hang out with her elderly father. This is even though Woodward apparently introduced himself by name.

How can any Boomer-age American NOT recognize Bob Woodward? And especially how could someone whose father was a high ranking FBI operative long suspected as a possibility for Deep Throat not know who this guy was? Did she grow up under a rock?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

newsflash: many, most people do not grow up fed the constant diet of liberal propoganda that you were Katie. I got the liberal force feeding too but fortunately I escaped. however I disgress. many many families keep secrets. I dont think this is healthy. and frankly I think it is probably responsibile for a lot more screwed up adults than baby cribs or failing to sling your baby around like a fashion accessory. they say you are only as sick as your secrets and this sure fits that category. denial being what it is too, even if she suspected this girl probably wanted it not to be true. probably one on one he was a nice guy and a good father and even if something seemed odd she probably had an effective rationalization mechanism going. I have heard of all kinds of things people keep under wraps and no one has a clue. or if they suspect no one wants to be the one to come out and say it.

Anonymous said...

newsflash: many, most people do not grow up fed the constant diet of liberal propoganda that you were Katie. I got the liberal force feeding too but fortunately I escaped. however I disgress. many many families keep secrets. I dont think this is healthy. and frankly I think it is probably responsibile for a lot more screwed up adults than baby cribs or failing to sling your baby around like a fashion accessory. they say you are only as sick as your secrets and this sure fits that category. denial being what it is too, even if she suspected this girl probably wanted it not to be true. probably one on one he was a nice guy and a good father and even if something seemed odd she probably had an effective rationalization mechanism going. I have heard of all kinds of things people keep under wraps and no one has a clue. or if they suspect no one wants to be the one to come out and say it.

Anonymous said...

oops. the repeat was unintentional

Mark said...

>How can any Boomer-age American NOT recognize Bob Woodward?

I'm not that surprised any more.

If you wern't into it when it was happening, you just don't know about it. Lots of people function just fine without knowing basic stuff. [I'm reminded of the Jay Leno shitck where he does man-on-the-street interviews with people who think New Mexico is a country.]

Couple this with the idea that "any friend of my dad must be nobody important." and it's easy to see how she could miss putting Bob in the context of "famous person."

jane said...

anonymous seems to equate being Deep Throat with some sort of monster, very odd. "probably one on one he was nice and a good father?" This man told the truth about a corrupt presidential administration, which either directly or indirectly led to a corrupt president's resignation. The man is a hero.

Anonymous said...

shows how much I pay attention to the news. I didnt even realize this had anything to do with watergate till I read it here. oh well. oops.