The Outing of Deep Throat
Pat Buchanan shares premise of new book stripping "hero" label from Watergate leaker
Published: 9 April 2012
Pat Buchanan was twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and the Reform Party's candidate in 2000. He is also a founder and editor of The American Conservative. Buchanan served three presidents in the White House, was a founding panelist of three national TV shows, and is the author of nine books. His latest book is Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?
As the 40th anniversary of Watergate impends, we are to be bathed again in the great myth and morality play about the finest hour in all of American journalism.
That two heroic young reporters at the Washington Post, guided by a secret source, a man of conscience they dubbed “Deep Throat,” cracked the case and broke the scandal wide open, where the FBI, US prosecutors and more experienced journalists floundered and failed.
Through their tireless investigative reporting, they compelled the agencies of government to treat Watergate as the unprecedented constitutional crisis it was. No Pulitzer Prize was ever more deserved than the one awarded the Post in 1973.
These young journalists saved our republic!
However, the myth, fabricated in All the President’s Men and affirmed by the 1976 film of the same name, with Robert Redford as Bob Woodward and Dustin Hoffman as Carl Bernstein, has a Hellfire missile coming its way.
Leak: Why Mark Felt Became Deep Throat is an exhaustive study of the reporting of Woodward and Bernstein and the leaking by the FBI’s Mark Felt, whose identify as Deep Throat was revealed in 2005.
Leak author Max Holland zeroes in on the last great unanswered question of Watergate: Why did Felt, an FBI No. 2 on the short list to succeed J. Edgar Hoover, risk reputation and career to leak secrets to the Post?
Woodward and Bernstein paint Deep Throat, writes Holland, as a “selfless high-ranking official intent on exposing the lawlessness of the Nixon White House.” But this is self-serving nonsense.
The truth was right in front of Woodward. His refusal to see it made him a willing or witless collaborator in the ruin of the reputation and career of an honorable pubic servant, Patrick Gray.
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