When Deep Throat was revealed

Posted by David Konow

With the speed of today's media, and with so many scandals hitting the news all the time, it's quite easy to take All the President's Men for granted.  



Unsurprisingly, the controversial book made house hold names of Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. 

And why not? It was a news story that literally toppled the White House, and caused Nixon to resign from the presidency.

When Deep Throat was revealedThe success of the book, and the 1976 movie adaptation, encouraged many aspiring journalists to embark on reporting careers in the hopes of becoming the next Woodward and Bernstein.
 
It was one of the greatest mysteries in modern history, and one I didn't think would be revealed as recently as it was, but the identity of Deep Throat in All the President's Men was a great guessing game for many years. 



Some speculated there really was no Deep Throat, or that he, or she, was a composite character.

Many tried to get it out of Woodward and Bernstein, but they always swore they wouldn't reveal Deep Throat's identity until he, or she, had passed away. (I also say she because there was speculation at one point it could have been Diane Sawyer).


A great deal of Bob Woodward's reporting is with confidential sources, and that's always been his promise to anyone who talks to him.
 
Finally, Deep Throat - aka W. Mark Felt - outed himself in 2005. Felt was a former Deputy Director of the F.B.I., which ended a big mystery in history, and he died several years after his identity was finally revealed. 



Mark FeltBut I was very surprised the story didn't have greater impact when we all finally found out.

Woodward published a book about Deep Throat five weeks after Felt came forward, The Secret Man, and compared to his other books, it was a disappointment.
 
"Obviously the publishers, because of historical curiosity or the significance of it, I think expected more," Woodward told The New York Times back in 2005.

"It obviously was not as much as some of my other books, but I don't know how much a writer can get involved in trying to second guess that."
 
The Washington Post usually called reporting like this "holy sh*t" stories, meaning a story that would make the reader say "holy sh*t!" when they read it. 

Watergate was definitely was holy sh*t in its day, but a lot of scandals that seemed so shocking mere decades ago would probably be the back page of the newspaper, or a blip on the 'Net today.

Maybe it's the speed of today's media, and how a story can grow old so quickly, or the fact that we're inundated with so much "holy sh*t" all over the 'Net and in what's left of print that we've become blasé about it all.