I’d like to say I can sleep easy now, one of the biggest mysteries populating this j-school dork’s brain solved with the self-outing of Nixon-era Deep Throat.
Thing is, reading the account in papers around the globe of the reason Woodward’s "friend" — W. Mark Felt — finally gave for coming forward leaves a dirty feeling, a total letdown from the man who, through the ultimate backstory tips and suggestions, brought down the dirtiest regime on record to-date.
"It’s doing me good," Mr. Felt told reporters outside his home in Santa Rosa, Calif., when asked how he was reacting to the publicity. "I’ll arrange to write a book or something, and collect all the money I can."
According to several reports, Felt, 91, has been slipping into dementia, and the assumption is that he doesn’t completely know what he’s doing. Granted, no one but Felt himself can explain his motives, but the fact that his family contacted People magazine, Harper Collins books and Vanity Fair, which will publish his story in next month’s issue, looking for a phat cash payout says a lot.
While there’s a lot of talk about Felt’s disclosure ultimately aiding journalists in this era of anonymous source assault where access to information, and those with it, without a lengthy jail sentence is in peril, I can’t help but see it as further erosion of an industry that, while never perfect, is in rapid decline.
When the identity of Deep Throat happens simply for the potential payout, it’s just a matter of time before newspapers start cutting staff in order to maintain a big, fat bottom line, the government plants male escort/Internet whores in the White House press room to ask puffball questions and write the kinds of favorable stories that give right wing hardliners a big fat hard on, and newsmagazines get taken to task by the goverment’s PR whore for printing the truth about atrocities in the Middle East while the leading human rights group equates that same government’s prisons to Soviet-era gulags…
Oh…. wait. Never mind….. We’re already there…..
I think I’m simply going to stab my eyes out.