This is my attempt at blogging. I'm still learning about the blogging world, and this is my own personal study hall.

Monday, June 06, 2005

W. Mark Felt? Really?

Does anyone else have a problem with the notion that W. Mark Felt, former #2 at the FBI, was Deep Throat, the secretive source who fed information to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post and brought down the Nixon White House?

Here's my objection. I don't know if it was Felt or not, obviously. But doesn't it seem convenient that Felt, who is 91 years old, is now coming out and announcing his secret identity? He exposes his identity, in Vanity Fair magazine, of all places, at a time when he is at the tail end of his life, shortly after Woodward and Bernstein announce their intention of revealing the identity of Deep Throat upon his death. This follows rumors that Deep Throat is very ill and possibly nearing death. (Speculation circled around Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and President Gerald R. Ford).

So Woodward and Bernstein, who have already profited nicely from Deep Throat, by becoming living legends and launching their careers from obscure back-page reporters to front-page icons, not to mention publishing a book and selling their movie rights, are going to publish an in-depth background story and memoir with the blanks filled in (READ - $$$) and the actual legend gets squat. So Felt, whether or not he actually was Deep Throat, whether or not there actually was a single person, dubbed Deep Throat, who fed the information to Woodward and Bernstein, declares that he was actually Deep Throat. He wants to cash in. He knows he's close to the end, and he wants to get book rights so his family can have a sizeable inheritance.

Here's what I think:

Either it's all true, as they say it is, or else it was a money- and fame-making scheme, as I will attempt to resolve. There were multiple sources who fed information to Woodward and Bernstein. Woodward and Bernstein either made up or exaggerated the lengths to which they went in order to safely meet with their sources and made it out that there was only one (or one primary) source. They are artful story tellers. They write like edge-of-your seat suspense novelists, and this was their way of getting the chance to do that. Meanwhile, three decades later, after they promise that they're going to reveal the identity of the now-famous Deep Throat, and they are preparing their story, Felt, who is probably one of at least three people who have always suspected that they were Deep Throat, decides to cash in. I think Ford, Rehnquist, and Felt, and probably others, fed information to the reporters, and probably all followed similar protocol for arranging meetings with them. Whether the protocol was invented by Woodward or designed by Felt and passed along by Woodward I don't know. But I think they were going to proclaim either Ford or Rehnquist as Deep Throat, depending on who died first. That way the other two (or more) possibilities would not be able to claim the title. But Felt beat them to the punch, so they had to roll with it. I think that any one of the possible Deep Throat candidates could have been named Deep Throat, and all of them possibly even thought in their heart of hearts that they themselves were in fact Deep Throat but didn't know 100% if they were right. They obviously didn't want to go out on a limb like that and be made a fool if they were wrong. But given his age, and the declared intention of Woodward and Bernstein to announce the identity of Deep Throat after his death, Felt decided to go for it, get a book deal, and make his family rich and legendary. Woodward and Bernstein didn't particularly care, so long as they got their new book and movie deals. Their initial reaction was probably shock and a little disappointment/anger until they realized that it didn't hurt their plan and that they could roll with it if they just worked together to iron out the kinks in the story. If you remember, their only comment after confirming that Felt was Deep Throat was, "We have a lot of work to do."

Anyway, that's my theory.

What's yours?

8 Comments:

Blogger menachem said...

let's assume he really was deep throat. in that case, what we're dealing with here is less incredible investigative reporting, and more spiteful leaking by a high placed informer with an agenda. had felt not been anonymous, would woodward and bernstein have gotten a pulitzer?

also, which deep throat came first, the porno or Felt?

5:45 AM

 
Blogger Just Shu said...

Menachem, the porno was first. When they asked Woodward and Bernstein who Deep Throat was(back in teh day) the reply was linda lovelace, who starred in the classic movie.

9:27 AM

 
Blogger menachem said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:32 AM

 
Blogger Seth said...

The porno came first. I think that's probably why Diane Sawyer (Nixon White House Press Secretary) was among the theorized sources.

12:52 PM

 
Blogger Seth said...

Sorry, I failed to clarify - because the name came from the movie some people thought it might be a woman.

12:54 PM

 
Blogger Just Shu said...

i thoiught you were implying she was a porn star

1:51 PM

 
Blogger menachem said...

i can't believe you deleted my post

2:23 PM

 
Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Well, Felt's daughter's admitted that she wanted money off her father's identity. She said that she wants a book deal, movie deal, etc. I think that she knows that her father's about half to 3/4 of the way into the grave, and she better cash in on him soon before he bites the dust. Personally, I think that most people just don't really care.
-OC

1:12 PM

 

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