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Archives: May 2005

It’s Felt

Washington Post Confirms Felt As ‘Deep Throat’

The article, written and published so quickly that the original page title was still “Small-454 Graphics Template” and it contained no first reference to Bob Woodward, by William Branigin and David Von Drehle begins:

“The Washington Post today confirmed that W. Mark Felt, a former number-two official at the FBI, was ‘Deep Throat,’ the secretive source who provided information that helped unravel the Watergate scandal in the early 1970s and contributed to the resignation of president Richard M. Nixon.

“Woodward said Felt helped The Post at a time of tense relations between the White House and much of the FBI hierarchy. He said the Watergate break-in came shortly after the death of legendary FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, Felt’s mentor, and that Felt and other bureau officials wanted to see an FBI veteran promoted to succeed Hoover.”

Woodward will publish an extensive article in Thursday’s Post.

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Will The Silence Be Unbroken?

Slate’s Timothy Noah is reporting that “Woodward and/or Bernstein is/are about to make some sort of statement.”

Stay tuned…

UPDATE 5:23 PM: Washington Post Confirms Felt As ‘Deep Throat’

LATer: Deep Throat Didn’t Really Matter

This afternoon, CNN interviewed Jack Nelson, who was the LAT’s bureau chief during the days of Watergate.

He argued that Deep Throat’s importance in the whole story has been greatly exaggerated, primarily because of the drama of the book and movie “All the President’s Men.” Nelson quoted former Post editor Barry Sussman: “over the years, an anonymous, bit player, a minor contributor, has become a giant.”

Full transcript after the jump.

Read more

Prove You’re Underpaid

A momentary pause in our All-Deep-Throat-All-The-Time Coverage this afternoon to bring you this special announcement from our parent company, MediaBistro: MB’s annual media salary survey is out, and it shows that you are underpaid. Probably.

Nationally over 15,000 people responded to the survey, and you can search the results by job title, industry, or region.

Vanity Fair: ‘I’m the guy they called Deep Throat’

Mark Felt is Deep Throat. So they say:

Despite three decades of intense speculation, the identity of “Deep Throat”–the source who leaked key details of Nixon’s Watergate cover-up to Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein–has never been revealed. Now, at age 91, W. Mark Felt, number two at the F.B.I. in the early 70s, is finally admitting to that historic, anonymous role. In an exclusive, JOHN D. O’CONNOR puts a name and face to one of American democracy’s heroes, learning about the struggle between honor and duty that nearly led Felt to take his secret to the grave.

Here’s the full article (PDF).

Woodward/Bernstein have made specific denials about certain people in the past. Should we read anything into them not specifically denying this report???

UPDATES: Deep Throat Revealed!

woodbern.jpgVanity Fair has identified Deep Throat: The 91-year-old W. Mark Felt, who during Watergate was the #2 man at the FBI. The article by John D. O’Connor quotes Felt as saying “I’m the guy they used to call Deep Throat.”

Felt has been a regular on the short list of potential candidates, and was known to be friendly to reporters.

The news that Felt might be the source was originally broken a long time ago by Carl Bernstein’s son supposedly, and Ronald Kessler’s book, “The Bureau: The Secret History of the FBI by Ronald Kessler,” argued that it was Felt, as did a 1992 Atlantic Monthly article by James Mann (sub. req.).

Here is Washingtonian’s 2002 thinking on why Deep Throat was Felt. As early as 1974, Felt denied Deep Throat to Washingtonian, saying “It was not I, and it is not I.” (Of course, perhaps his pretentious grammar was his wiggle room.)

And a while back, Slate wondered why Woodward and Felt would have lunch together.

Further evidence to support Felt is that according to today’s news reports, he’s in ill health and rumors earlier this spring that Deep Throat was ailing.

12:10 P.M. UPDATE: Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein have both released statements saying they won’t comment on the new Vanity Fair article, saying they won’t comment until Deep Throat dies.

12:24 P.M. UPDATE: Wikipedia already has the update.

1 P.M. UPDATE: Was Woodward, who enjoys cryptograms, having word game fun with his book on the end of the Nixon White House? The Final Days, Salon explains, can be anagramed as “Felt Had Say In,” and when you add in the title itself, was Woodward saying “Felt had say in the final days”?

Harris’s ‘Survivor’

survivorcover.jpgThe long-awaited book on the Clinton White House by the Post’s new political editor, John F. Harris, will land this week.

The Post began publishing excerpts today, and Drudge is leaking some details:

One clip Drudge points to (p. 356-357), right after Sally Quinn, one-half of Washington’s leading power couple, published an article explaining how upset Washington was with Clinton’s behavior re: Lewinsky:

Some time afterward the president was going over papers with his staff on the upcoming Presidential Medal of Freedom awards. Spontaneously, he launched into a little riff for his assembled aides. His nominee for the prestigious award this year would be none other than the famous [Watergate editor] Ben Bradlee, husband of Sally Quinn.

The aides looked on in puzzled amusement.

“Anyone who sleeps with that bitch deserves a medal!” he explained.

CNN @ 25

Cousin TVNewser is in Atlanta attending the festivities around CNN’s 25th birthday this week. Make sure to follow his coverage, read about the program, and see his photos.

Today he’ll be live-blogging a bunch of the panels.

Memorial Day Weekend Roundup

While we’re still hearing from a lot of people about last week’s Carlos Watson posts (pro and con), unless anyone has anything new to offer, we’re going to move on.

Some items from the weekend:

Howard Kurtz’s column this week has two fun media notes:

  • The Post Business section will start publishing a few stories each week written by the WSJ’s foreign correspondents as a way to beef up the paper’s international finance view.
  • The TSA is royally pissed off about USA Today’s front-page story from Friday on a new planned high-tech scanner program for airports that would offer revealing images of those in question. The TSA’s Mark Hatfield wrote the author, “You should work for Larry Flynt,” and called the article “a sensational piece of [excrement].”

And, while they may have missed that grenade in Georgia a few weeks back, the Secret Service was all over LAT White House write Ed Chen when he tried to sneak an apple into a recent Bush speech. No word on whether it was a Red Delicious, Granny Smith, or–dare we say it?–a Northern Spy. Chen was allowed, though, to keep his two bananas.

Kit Seelye updates with the latest chapter in the PBS/CPB war of the ombudsmen.

Melanie Bloom, the widow of NBC’s David Bloom who died covering the war in Iraq, tells how she’s coping with the loss two years later.

Lastly, an item from last week we missed: The Post’s State Department correspondent Glenn Kessler appears to be caught up in a federal investigation into a “possible spy ring” involving a Pentagon employee and two pro-Israeli lobbyists.

More On Watson

Yesterday’s post on Carlos Watson generated more mail than just about anything that’s appeared on this site.

Perhaps more than anything, people objected to the characterization of Watson as a “jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none.” Readers pointed out that he founded a successful company, Achieva, which was sold to the Washington Post Co.’s Kaplan education division, has worked on and managed campaigns, and done successful private sector work with McKinsey & Co., among other ventures. “No, he hasn’t worked in politics or journalism forever — but that’s not a bad thing,” one person wrote. “The guy actually has experience.”

A smattering of the other mail we received:

> “I must rise in defense of Carlos Watson. As a former reporter and a former Capitol Hill staffer I am troubled by the unrestrained trashing of an individual who, in my experience, has demonstrated that a journalistic approach to political coverage and analysis remains possible. I’ve been in regular contact with Carlos for quite some time and his approach has always been that of an individual seeking facts over talking points. Perhaps that is the problem. Could it be that when someone won’t simply regurgitate the ‘message’ of the day, that is a sign that they don’t know what they are talking about?”

> “I know that the path of least resistance is found by spouting the accepted wisdom of the moment. On that path you can never be wrong because when facts emerge that contradict the wisdom, the wisdom is simply adjusted by mutual agreement. Among the many reasons I respect Carlos is that he skips that conference call and ignores those dictates, preferring to ask questions that aren’t on anyone’s approved list. If that draws criticism, I hope he takes it as a tribute.”

> “This attack on Carlos is wrong on several fronts. One, I have personal knowledge that the guy works his ass off calling sources and works very hard and long hours to synthesize political views and reach fresh insights — before his every appearance on CNN. Two, I happen to know several political players, including colleagues of mine who’ve been around the political block a few times, who think his commentary is fresh and very good and that he brings a welcome dimension to CNN. Three, in Washington, it’s typical that the established bullshitters try to say that no one else’s commentary is as good as their own blather. Please. These attacks on Carlos seem more like a projection of insecurity, to me.”

> “I think Carlos Watson is good for CNN. He may not have the experience of Woodruff, Greenfield or Schneider, but nobody there has worked on a campaign in the last 4 decades, well, besides Begala. He’s got a good eye for talent. I heard him talk about Barack Obama before he had any national media exposure and said that he had a good chance to pull an upset.”

> “Smells like jealousy or bitterness. I’ve worked with Carlos at CNN for over a year now and have to say that he is hard working, full of fresh ideas and one of the best read guys around. In fact the reality is the opposite of what your sources sent you, he’s the guy that sends you an email at 3a with some new idea for the next day. He’s the guy that I can’t get off the cell phone because he’s focused on trying to get a new tidbit. If you work with Carlos you know this is the reality. So I don’t get why someone would say anything else.”

Other thoughts? Any firmer ideas about what Watson’s new role at CNN might be?