Deep Throat Unmasked

GENERIC watergate nixon silhouette deep throat CBS/AP

This column was written by CBS Evening News Anchor and Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer.
A couple of my own thoughts on Deep Throat.

To tell the truth, I was sorry to learn who Deep Throat was, not that I had anything for or against Mark Felt. I never met the man. It's just that finally knowing is like having a magic trick explained. Once you know, it's no longer any fun. And it all seems so obvious in retrospect, but then, as Sherlock Holmes once observed, all things seem obvious once you know the answer.

Watergate was important. Knowing Deep Throat's identity really wasn't. But it was still fun to guess and speculate and worry about it. It was a diversion, like sports or working a crossword puzzle, a parlor game.

Now there's a new parlor game. Did he do it for the right reasons or because he held a grudge, because he got passed over as J.Edgar Hoover's replacement? Like most whistle-blowers, it was probably done with a little of both in mind, but his motives are as unimportant to me as his identity.

The important thing is what he did and how he did it. He saw the danger posed by a gang that thought all things were legal if done in the name of the president. Without his guidance to Woodward and Bernstein, the Watergate cover-up might have succeeded and America would have become what it had never been, a nation of men, not laws. Who knows where that would have led?

Deep Throat, we hardly know you still. But we owe you, whatever your reasons.


By Bob Schieffer
  • Bootie Cosgrove-Mather

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