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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

No more gagging

The mystery is over. Deep Throat, the man who shared his insights into the Watergate break-in with two Washington Post reporters in the 1970s, has finally come forward. W Mark Felt, 91, second-in-command at the FBI in the early 1970s, admits in the latest edition of Vanity Fair that he was the source for reporter Bob Woodward's story that eventually led to the fall of the Nixon administration. Felt's grandson, Nick Jones, said today that he hoped his grandfather would be seen as a "great American hero who went well and above the call of duty at much risk to himself."

The Washington Post has confirmed Felt's role.

The revelation merely highlights the degree to which Bob Woodward's journalism has fallen since his big break in the 1970s. He's now content being fed "insider" information by the Bush administration. His importance today is highly questionable. Moving from a journalist who worked the inside to gain vital information to becoming part of the establishment and arguably more able to be played by his new government masters.

His reputation will always be sealed with Watergate, however. The latest revelations may well reignite debate around his work since Nixon. The Guardian Newsblog wishes the revelations had been more salacious, revealing Henry Kissinger or former President George Bush as "Deep Throat".

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, really, what's the difference between someone feeding Woodward information about Nixon and Woodward being fed information by the Bushies? Either way, it's simply allowing someoone else to set the agenda; in fact, there are many theories that suggest that Deep Throat's leaks were not to bring down RMN but instead get back at the FBI Director ... see here for more information on this idea.

Either way, there's a good case to be made that Woodward has always been a hack, happy to be led by people in power.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005 3:17:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Interesting point.
Guess we may never really know the true role of Woodward and Bernstein in Watergate.
This raises another question, though. Take Seymour Hersh, and his big stories, from the My Lai massacre to Abu Ghraib, both stories of insider stories seemingly ready to see the light of day. Hersh works the inside of American power better than any other journalist. His record speaks for itself.
His intergrity appears much more intact than Woodward, though his work is less studied in journo schools. Wonder why...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005 3:33:00 pm  
Anonymous michael said...

"His intergrity appears much more intact than Woodward, though his work is less studied in journo schools. Wonder why...".

Hmm, maybe Sy could try asking Robert Redford to play him in a movie or something.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005 5:04:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, Sy Hersh also thinks it's OK to lie in the service of a cause...what do you make of that? And how is that different than what Bush does?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005 5:26:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Look, can we get past the Hersh lying yarns? Read it, dismissed it, record speaks for itself. Next! And you're comparing him to Bush? God help you...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005 10:00:00 pm  
Anonymous Tim said...

There is an interesting interview with Pete McCloskey, the first Congressman to call for Nixon's impeachment, a Republican who ran against Nixon's nomination here. The interview only briefly touches on Deep Throat stuff, and it takes a line that hasn't been picked up in our press, but it mainly deals with McCloskey's role in CNI, a lobby group set up especially to counter AIPAC. McCloskey's treatment of Mid East issues is plain speaking and straight shooting. Refreshing!

Sunday, June 05, 2005 9:50:00 pm  
Anonymous Tim said...

P.S. The CNI ran an interesting AIPAC ad in the NY Times recently. The content is on line here

Sunday, June 05, 2005 9:53:00 pm  
Anonymous Tim said...

Actually some of the publications listed at that CNI site look interesting. See link here and here (PDF).

McCloskey mentions that George H.W. Bush suffered from an AIPAC generated backlash because of his post-Desert Storm attempts to tie $10 Billion worth of loans to Israel to withdrawl of West Bank settlements. (This was also the time of the neo-cons' brief and ultimately unrequited love affair with Clinton and "the New Democrats".) Presumably George Junior has learned this political lesson.

Monday, June 06, 2005 11:04:00 am  

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