Deep Throat (papers) exposed

The University of Texas at Austin’s Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center has opened materials from Watergate journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s on Mark Felt, the source known as Deep Throat, to researchers, scholars and the public.

A selection of the Deep Throat materials can be viewed in an online exhibition from the Center, with images of the type written notes that Woodward would produce after his clandestine meetings with Deep Throat that often took place in an underground parking garage.

These meetings were memorably portrayed in the 1976 film All the President’s Men where actor Hal Holbrook summed up the way to crack the Watergate case was to “follow the money”, a phrase that Woodward does not recollect Felt using and may well have been improvised on the film set.

Felt’s identity as the high level source who helped Woodward, was kept secret for over 30 years until Felt’s relatives revealed him as The Guy They Called Deep Throat in a Vanity Fair article in 2005, which prompted Woodward and Bernstein to finally confirm the story in the Washington Post.

Sadly we will never know what motivated Felt to become an informant, due to his failing memory. However Woodward has written up his recollections of the meetings in the book The Secret Man and the honourable tradition of leaking information about governments in the public interest, has even been updated for the 21st century with the founding of the Wikileaks website.

Search Intute: Social Sciences for more on Nixon and Watergate

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