Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Who is `Deep Throat'?

Editor & Publisher, the serious-minded media magazine, is having a little fun with the recent flurry of speculation over the identity of the most famous journalistic source in American history -- Deep Throat.

This was Bob Woodward's secret snitch during the Watergate investigation, which raises the indelicate question of whether Woodward is, or was in his younger days, a porn connoisseur.

Whatever the case, the leading candidate as of today is Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, because he is seriously ill and because John Dean, President Nixon's chief counsel, wrote an op-ed piece in the LA Times saying that Deep Throat is nearing the end.

One of the other leading candidates is Ben Stein (pictured above), a former speechwriter for Nixon who later became an actor (turning in a memorable performance as a monotonic teacher in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.) He also fancies himself as an economist, speaking on market issues on the cable news channels, where he comes across as an amiable conservative. Personally, I hopes it's him, but somehow doubt he was privy to all the necessary skeletons in the Nixon inner circle to make him a legitimate Deep Throat candidate.

But, what if Ben Stein was Deep Throat?

That casts Hal Holbrook's portrayal of the mysterious news source in All The President's Men in an entirely different light.

When Deep Throat suddenly appears in the shadows of the Washington, D.C., underground parking garage, his cigarette glowing in the dark, and gruffly tells Robert Redford to "follow the money," movie fans will hear Ben Stein's whiny, one-note, monotone voice in Ferris Bueller's Day Off and see a bespectacled, bushy-haired future economist in a coat and tie instead of the trench-coated figure of mythic cinema.

Don't forget, before E&P began its guess-who-Deep-Throat-is game, President George H.W. Bush was named as the suspected source in an email letter to online media maven Jim Romenesko. George "Not-gonna-do-it-wouldn't-be-prudent" Bush? Not-gonna-buy-it. And, I'm almost certain that nicotine has never touched the lips of GHWB.

Other candidates on the Deep Throat table include Former President Gerald Ford, who replaced Nixon's disgraced vice president Spiro Agnew before taking over for Nixon, culture warrior Pat Buchanan, another Nixon speechwriter who's now a cable TV pundit after a failed run for the presidency, and several others in a list that seems to grow longer with each day.

Curiously enough, all of this speculation, occuring some 25 years after Watergate, coincides with the impending opening of a documentary about the REAL Deep Throat, the pornographic film starring the late Linda Lovelace, who lived a genuinely miserable life before turning against the porn industry and testifying for the Meese Commission. She died in a car wreck in 2002. The movie that made her famous was reportedly financed by The Mob and grossed $600 million.

Maybe, just maybe, this sudden speculation surrounding Deep Throat is merely an ingenious, black-ops marketing ploy by the makers of the documentary, who paid off John Dean, the letter writer to Romenesko and E&P magazine some of that groovy Armstrong Williams payola in return for stirring up the media machine. That, you have to admit, would be deliciously ... Nixonian.
linda lovelace
[Editor & Publisher]
[lovelace bio via rotten.com (mature readers only)]

Ford, Bush 41 not Deep Throat, says Segretti


Convicted dirty trickster won't spill the beans (if he really has any.)
[nbc4tv]

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