Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Washington Post confirms that Mark Felt is Deep Throat

The Washington Post confirms that Mark Felt is Deep Throat: "Woodward, Bernstein, and Ben Bradlee confirmed the story as well. Woodward is writing an article about the experience to be run on Thursday."

After years of speculation, the hunt for "Deep Throat" is now over. By now, you've heard that the Washington Post, Bob Woodward, and Carl Bernstein have all admitted that W. Mark Felt is indeed the masked avenger. For years, journalist pundits have suspected Felt was indeed the anonymous source that leaked information regarding the Watergate Scandal, but no one stepped up to the plate to say for sure, and the "until-eeath-do-us-part"-like agreement between the source and the reporters became even more discouraging.

I wasn't even a twinkle in my daddy's eye when Woodward and Bernstein broke the story. As a journalist, the event is another landmark - a tongue-in-cheek example of the journalist's role. But, by today's standards, anonymous sourcing is a shaky topic. It's romantic in a sense - a single person and an altruistic goal to help the larger good of the public - but it's flawed, especially now in our dog-eat-dog society where everyone is looking to get leg up, by viciously chewing off the leg of the person standing above him/her.

Honestly, I couldn't care less about Deep Throat's identity. I look at him as the John F. Kennedy assassination equalizer. And as far as the rest of society, they probably feel much the same way - it's something to talk about around the water-cooler at work, but it's not something that's going to alter daily schedules or routines. Already, Wikipedia has Felt's name listed as Deep Throat. And for me, that's enough. The informant that brought down a president can now be added to encyclopedias for future student research papers. The information is available, but, like any other name or date listed in any history book, it has little relevance in everyday life.

What "Deep Throat" did and still does represent, though, is hope. In a soceity where corrupt politicians and partisan politics is as token as a time-clock, Deep Throat reminds Americans, journalists anyway, that somewhere, someone knows the truth and is willing to tell it. As journalists, it's our job to find that person and that truth. Deep Throat will always be "Deep Throat." And that will always be larger than a single individual.


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