Wednesday, June 15, 2005

In the matter of Deep Throat & the Teapot Dome


Mark Felt: behind those stylish spectacles, Deep Throat
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While I remain deeply disappointed that Ben Stein, the actor/author/all-round bon vivant, was not unmasked as Deep Throat, the secret news source that brought down the Nixon Presidency, I remain fascinated.

I will concede, though, that it's a fascination that is shared largely by only those of my generation, which is to say, people of middle-age.

The young? Couldn't care less. The hip-hoppin', lowrider jean wearin' generation are all like, "Deep Throat. Git on outta here with that," while I'm all, "Wait, listen, this was really big thirty-three years ago."

Oh. Yeah. It was thirty-three years ago.

The best analogy I can come up with is the celebrated Teapot Dome Scandal of the 1920s. It was in my public school history textbooks. Maybe about a page worth. And I read that page worth of historical text. But, I swear, I can't remember a damned thing about it right now. It just didn't register.

So, today's youth are to be forgiven. I have my Teappot Dome Scandal blankspot, and they have their Watergate/Deep Throat blankspot.

Be that as it may, the recent edition of The Nation carries some tasty backstory morsels about Mark Felt, the FBI's #2 Man during Watergate, who, as you may have read, was the secret news source who became infamously known as Deep Throat upon publication of the book, All The President's Men.

The Nation's story says Felt basically sent his FBI underlings on a wild goose chase trying to track down the secret news source who was feeding information to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward. And all the while, Nixon and those in his close circle were cursing bitterly that it must be Felt who was priming The Post's pump, but they couldn't or wouldn't do anything for fear that Felt would overturn the whole applecart, rather than tossing a few crumbs to The Washington Post, should they move against him.

Pretty fascinating stuff, if you're of a certain age.

[The Nation]
[Teapot Dome Scandal]
[The Ben-Stein-Is-Deep-Throat Theory, B'port News]

3 comments:

ttytler5@hotmail.com said...

Banjo, I can't believe you forgot the Sharpstown scandal which wiped out 2/3rds of the Texas leg.

The Watergate break-in and Teapot Dome were mere vandalism cases -- the equivalents of college students on a panty raid --- compared to the wholesale, cash buying and selling of Texas legislators, on the floor of the Texas house and senate, while they were voting, as bag men and Frank Sharp himself dropped in for a friendly bribe or two.

And then there were the "Dirty Thirty" - lead by "Mad Dog" Mengden and "Sissy" Farenthold ---leading the charge to expose the Sharp gang.

"Deep throat", schneepthroat. Sissy was a good-lookin' babe and Mad Dog was an ass-kicking Texan who carried a gun.

BTW, Ben Stien the actor was a kid when all this was going on, it was his father, a Nixon economic adviser, who was mentioned as a possible deepthroat.

Banjo Jones said...

i'm entirely aware of the Sharpstown scandal of yesteryear, being a native Texan and all, but, you know, a president forced to resign versus the Tx Lege?

my sister volunteered for Sissy Farenthold. her first and last foray into politics. ah, the heady daze of sissy. gone but not forgotten...

i believe i'm right about ben stein vs. his daddy. 'course, it was just a half-baked theory. but it delighted me, as I really like the movie, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."

ttyler5@hotmail.com said...

:^D :^D :^D :^D :^D

That March 27 post on Stein was good, Banjo!

However, here is Ben's latest on Felt and Watergate, I don't think think Stein ever fit the bill:

http://www.macminute.com/cgi-bin/wwwthreads/showflat.pl?Cat=&Board=politics&Number=237050&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=0&part=