I enjoyed “STATE OF
Deep Throat made Bob Woodward. His Watergate expose, which he wrote when he was just in his mid-20s, made him famous not only in the U.S. but in the whole world. All of the ten books he subsequently authored or co-authored so far were consistent no. 1 bestsellers. Because of his celebrity status, he has amassed a wide network of contacts and unprecedented access to the “corridors of power.” I enjoy reading his books because they are always full of insider information and intimate details about who’s who in American politics.
Of the two books, I found the “THE SECRET MAN” more interesting. “THE SECRET MAN” is about Deep Throat, Woodward’s enigmatic source who helped him and Bernstein decode the Watergate scandal in 1972 (played by Hal Holbrook in the movie “All the President’s Men.” It was Deep Throat who advised Robert Redford to “follow the money” and the phrase has since become one of
I found “THE SECRET MAN” fascinating not because I wanted to learn about Deep Throat’s true identity (Mark Felt already came out in 2005) but because it tackles a common and very difficult dilemma faced by journalists today – how to protect confidential sources. Up to this day, the code of journalism has no clear-cut rules on when or under what circumstances a reporter can reveal the identity of their confidential informants. “THE SECRET MAN” offers an intimate insight into the pressures, struggles and difficulties Woodward had to face in safeguarding Deep Throat’s identity for the last 33 years. It was not an easy thing to do considering that Deep Throat aroused great interest not only in the political circles of
Going back to the subject of sources' confidentiality, Woodward claims that there are basically two schools of thought on the matter. One school maintains that journalists can reveal the identity of their confidential sources only upon the person’s consent. The other, more strident school of thought insists that journalists have a sacred duty to protect their sources and that they can reveal only after their sources’ death (with some even suggesting a period of 20 years after the person has died). As a celebrity journalist, Bob Woodward regularly gets invited to give a speech in various fora and every time he was asked whether the identity of Deep Throat would ever be known, his answer would invariably be that “it should be revealed only after his death, unless in his lifetime he changed his mind and agreed to have it disclosed.”
Woodward was prepared to wait until after Mark Felt died to reveal that he was Deep Throat but on
It is perhaps the height of irony that the greatest “iskoopero” of all time, Bob Woodward, would be out-scooped not by some heavy investigative media outfit but by a magazine more known for its light entertainment and lifestyle articles.