Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Wednesday, February 23, 2005  

Vanity Fair

You knew it had to be too good to be true. The implausibilities have caught up to the scammers. I refer to Woodward and Bernstein's fictional character, Deep Throat, exposed as a hoax. Or rather a composite of sources dressed up in cloak and dagger regalia.

". . .the first draft of the book didn't mention Deep Throat and that Bob Fink, the researcher who organized the reporters' huge pile of sources, notes, and articles into a workable manuscript, was stunned to discover the appearance of Deep Throat in later versions.

Obst also runs down several of the implausible details about Deep Throat in the book. Woodward was supposed to have signaled to Throat that he needed to talk by putting a cloth-topped stick in a flowerpot and moving it to the back of his balcony. If Throat saw the signal, they would meet at a prearranged underground garage. Inconveniently, however, the pot couldn't be seen from the street. In other words, this major Washington figure was supposed to drive to Woodward's building, get out of his car, and walk down Woodward's alley every single day. That's not very secretive behavior for someone trying to stay secret.

A similar problem is Woodward's claim that Throat would secretly mark page 20 of Woodward's home-delivered New York Times with a hand-drawn clock marking the time of their next meeting. But Woodward's Times was delivered to the building's lobby, writes Obst, "unmarked and stacked in a pile" before 7 A.M. How did Deep Throat figure out the right paper? And why would a super-secret, high-profile source devise a system that required regularly skulking in a public lobby before dawn?"

posted by Mark Butterworth | 9:04 AM |