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TIME magazine's search for Deep Throat


Douglas Caddy
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From the article: The obsession with the identity of Deep Throat sometimes took journalists, including myself, down strange detours. At one point several years after the Nixon resignation, two of us at TIME undertook to try to find the identity of Deep Throat. Although tracking down a competitor's source is not the highest calling of a journalist, we had always been intrigued by the fact that Woodward, at that point a very young and very inexperienced reporter, had managed to find a source as well placed as Deep Throat. We surmised that Woodward, having only been at the Post for a short time and at that covering minor local stories, had to have made this contact at some point in his life before journalism. We first tracked down the people whom he had met at Yale College and who also worked for Nixon and hounded them about their relationship with Woodward. One of those sources told us to look at Woodward's military service. Examining those records we found that he had been a courier from the Pentagon who regularly took documents to the National Security Council offices in the White House. We also learned from Woodward's first wife that she and Bob were occasionally given seats in the President's box at the Kennedy Center. This pointed us toward Alexander Haig, who before becoming Nixon's last chief of staff was military assistant to Henry Kissinger at the NSC. Haig repeatedly denied being Deep Throat, but we never quite believed him. Realizing we couldn't actually prove the connection without Woodward or Deep Throat himself confirming it, we gave up the hunt.

The Haig thesis finally proved to be a dead end when about three years ago Felt started to go public about his role as Deep Throat. First, Felt's family attempted to sell his story to national magazines. By then, age had taken its toll and it was difficult to ask him the kinds of specific questions that would have confirmed his claim. There was also the problem that his story's exclusivity could have been quickly eclipsed by Woodward's own account of the relationship. Later, Felt's family and his attorney told the story themselves in Vanity Fair magazine. Woodward subsequently published a short book detailing the relationship, providing the most interesting footnotes to a grim historical moment in the country's history.

John Stacks was TIME's Chief of Correspondents from 1987 to 1996; from 1973 to 1975, he coordinated the Watergate reporting of the magazine's Washington Bureau. He is the co-author of Judge John Sirica's memoir of the scandal's legal wrangling.

http://content.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1868043,00.html

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