Posted at 3:40 PM ET, 06/ 2/2005

All the President's Men, All the Time

The Post's Watergate team of Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein and Ben Bradlee hasn't worked together for a while, but they were definitely out and about and on air today.

Woodward and Bernstein started off their day on MSNBC and Don Imus, according to Tina Gulland, the Post's Director of Television and Radio Projects. Next, they appeared on the Today Show. Then, Good Morning America and at 9 pm, they'll sit down with Larry King Live.

Bradlee took questions on washingtonpost.com is scheduled to appear tonight onHardball with Chris Matthews.

The weekend is still up in the air, Gulland said, although Woodward has said he's through being interviewed for a while.

-- Hal Straus

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Posted at 12:02 PM ET, 06/ 2/2005

'All the President's' Amazon.com Sales

Jennifer Frey writes in this morning's Post about the money that stands to be made from new book and movie projects related to Deep Throat. But what about the money generated by the relevant-all-over-again "All the President's Men"?

As of this morning, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's book on Watergate ranked No. 5 on Amazon.com's list of top-selling nonfiction books and as the No. 27 seller in books overall. The DVD of the 1976 movie starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman has also shot up on Amazon's list; it now ranks No. 15 overall, one notch above "The Incredibles." Not bad for a DVD that was released in 1997.

In case you're wondering, Warner Bros. already had a special 30th anniversary edition of the DVD slated for release in 2006. A date has not been set, but Ronnee Sass, executive director of publicity and communications for Warner Home Video, confirmed in an e-mail that the revelation of Deep Throat will likely play a role in the disc's extra features. May I suggest a commentary track recorded jointly by the Felt family and Hal Holbrook?

-- Jen Chaney

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Posted at 2:39 PM ET, 06/ 1/2005

Traitor or Nobel Prize Winner?

The talk show regulars and assorted big names from the Watergate era have lined up to praise or condemn Mark Felt for his role in the scandal, and there are few surprises so far.

Pat Buchanan, the former presidential candidate and Nixon speechwriter, labeled Felt "sneaky" and "dishonorable" on MSNBC's "Hardball." Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers to the press, suggested to Salon that Felt deserved "an honorary Nobel Prize."

Online observers of the Deep Throat story are also divided. Here are some sample judgments pulled from the washingtonpost.com Message Boards:

"So how does the former number 2 man at the FBI become a pillar when he mouths off about someone JUST because he doesn't get the promotion that HE thinks he should have -- and now he's a hero? .... No wonder the chicken waited so long, I would have been embarrassed too." -- matteuen
"It is testimony to the pettiness and the amorality of the right wing that they all impugn Mark Felt's motives for leaking the facts about Watergate to Bob Woodward. They claim Felt did it because he was passed over for the job of FBI director. This is nonsense. Felt was a career FBI man had to know that in a Nixon administration which Felt knew was deeply corrupt that a job as important as FBI director would go to a political stooge, and that whoever had it would have his reputation destroyed by history, as Pat Gray's was. Only a fool would want that job at that time, and Felt was obviously no fool." -- bushlgprez
"I wonder how many other secrets he divulged that he wasn't suppose to when he was in the FBI. Did he find it easier to pass on FBI secrets after Watergate? .... He's no hero of mine, he is more of a traitor. There was a cold war and a hot war (Viet Nam) going on and he aided an attack on the commander in chief. How much did Watergate influence the North Vietnamese's efforts ... during the war?" -- Alan

-- Lindsay Howerton and Hal Straus

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Posted at 1:30 PM ET, 06/ 1/2005

Deep Throat Abroad

The news has gone worldwide, mostly with straightforward coverage of "The Man Behind the Mystery," as The Independent Online in South Africa calls Felt.

In Beijing, the government-controlled China Daily plays up the testimony of former Nixon White House aides who say Felt betrayed them and the law.

The Guardian of London writes that Vanity Fair "outscooped" the Post with "a two-year negotiation process involving 15 editors, a San Francisco lawyer, and a dummy issue of the glossy magazine."

-- Jefferson Morley

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Posted at 9:39 AM ET, 06/ 1/2005

Follow the Money

Perhaps the most famous piece of advice Deep Throat gave Post reporter Bob Woodward during the Watergate investigation was to "follow the money" to find out who was behind the Watergate break-in.

So, it's not entirely surprising that pundits are asking what role money may have played in the identification of Mark Felt -- and in the financial consequences of yesterday's disclosure for Woodward.

Boston Globe columnist Eileen McNamara questions the motives of the Felt family in confirming to Vanity Fair's John D. O'Conner that Felt was Deep Throat. She also criticizes Felt's role in approving illegal break-ins as part of the FBI's investigation of the Weather Underground. "Felt's commitment to the Bill of Rights in 1973 was as selective as his family's motives in 2005 are self-serving," writes McNamara.

In O'Conner's Vanity Fair piece, Felt's daughter Joan recalls discussing money with her father. "Bob Woodward's gonna get all the glory for this, but we could make at least enough money to pay some bills, like the debt I've run up for the kids' education," Joan recalls saying. "Let's do it for the family."

Newsday columnist Ellis Henican notes somewhat gleefully that Bob Woodward's income will probably suffer because of his decision not to reveal his source's name. "...a big pile of money just went flying from the legendary reporter's bank account," Henican writes. "No one wants to buy a book from the second guys to tell you who Deep Throat is."

-- Hal Straus

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Posted at 8:26 AM ET, 06/ 1/2005

Redford Weighs In

So, it turns out Robert Redford isn't Bob Woodward after all. He had no idea who Deep Throat was.

Well, some idea. Redford, who played Woodward in the Watergate movie "All the President's Men," told Editor & Publisher's Greg Mitchell that he suspected Deep Throat was in the FBI. But the actor guessed that Woodward's source was agency director L. Patrick Gray, not Mark Felt.

There's a lot of "revisionism" today from people who say "I always knew it was Felt," Redford added, but said he would not join in.

-- Hal Straus

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Posted at 7:15 AM ET, 06/ 1/2005

More Firsts

Before moving on to today's reactions to the naming of Deep Throat, we offer two more nominations for the coveted "Who Guessed First" award.

The first, submitted by Adam, goes to James Mann for his May, 1992 article in The Atlantic.

Writing 20 years after the Watergate scandal, Mann emphasized that he didn't know who Deep Throat was, but correctly identified the FBI as the place where DT worked. Mann also concluded that Deep Throat "could well have been Mark Felt" and did a fine job delving into the motivations of many key Watergate figures.

Washingtonian Magazine's Jack Limpert also gets a nomination for two 1979 pieces suggesting that Felt had motive and opportunity, and was the most likely suspect. The second article includes a denial by Felt, who Limpert described as "the handsome, engaging, distinguished former associate director of the FBI."

Please feel free to vote or enter your own "Who Guessed First" nominee as a Comment, or simply enlighten us with other bits of Watergate trivia.

-- Hal Straus

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Posted at 8:50 PM ET, 05/31/2005

Haldeman Had It Right

Mark Felt kept most of the country guessing for more than 30 years -- but it's worth noting that former White House chief of staff and Watergate figure H.R. "Bob" Haldeman thought Felt was leaking information to Post reporter Bob Woodward during the height of the Watergate scandal.

What's more, Haldeman told his boss, former president Richard M. Nixon.

Tim Noah at Slate reported in 1999 on the taped conversation that took place in 1972 between Haldeman and Nixon. Noah published this excerpt:

Haldeman: We know what's left, and we know who leaked it.
Nixon: Somebody in the FBI?
Haldeman: Yes, sir. Mark Felt. You can't say anything about this because it will screw up our source and there's a real concern. Mitchell is the only one who knows about this and he feels strongly that we better not do anything...

Noah answered questions online earlier today about the confirmation of Deep Throat's identity.

-- Hal Straus

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Posted at 8:36 PM ET, 05/31/2005

Bad Guess

If the Hartford Courant and others got Deep Throat right, many others apparently did not -- among them Adrian Havill.

In his 1993 book "Deep Truth," Havill claimed Deep Throat was a composite of several sources, including Alexander Haig. More recently, in a Feb. 4 letter to Romenesko, Havill changed his mind and wrote that Deep Throat was George H.W. Bush.

"George Herbert Walker Bush, the president's father, is Deep Throat," Havill explained. "Did Bush have motivation? You bet. It was Richard Nixon who urged Bush to leave a safe seat in Congress, hinting there would be a position as assistant Secretary of the Treasury waiting for him if he failed to win a Senate seat held by Ralph Yarborough. When Bush lost, Nixon reneged and asked him to take the U.N. slot instead but teased him by hinting he would be the replacement for Spiro Agnew in 1972. Instead, he was given the thankless task of heading the Republican National Committee in 1973."

-- Hal Straus

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Posted at 8:19 PM ET, 05/31/2005

Motives Abound

After several hours of simply repeating that W. Mark Felt is the source formerly known as Deep Throat, Internet bloggers are beginning to switch into pundit mode -- offering theories as to why Felt confirmed important pieces of the Watergate investigation.

"It was an act of revenge, pure and simple. Felt had a vendetta against the president, and he got back at him by spoon feeding information to Woodward, knowing it would fatally damage Nixon," said Punditguy.

-- Hal Straus

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Posted at 7:15 PM ET, 05/31/2005

John Dean's Guess

Deep Throat's identity was a well-kept secret until today, but there have been hints in recent months that the most famous un-named source in American political history was about to be named.

Former White House counsel and Watergate pioneer John Dean wrote in a Feb. 6 commentary that, "We'll all know one day very soon" who Deep Throat is.

But Dean was less accurate in predicting Deep Throat's identity, writing that the Watergate source would turn out to be "one of my former Nixon White House colleagues." Former FBI official W. Mark Felt never worked in the Nixon White House.

-- Hal Straus

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