‘Deep Throat ‘ Story Put Woodward on Spot, But He Sticks to His Guns

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By: E&P Staff

In the Vanity Fair article exposing former FBI official W. Mark Felt as legendary Watergate source “Deep Throat” (see earlier E&P article), writer John D. O’Connor details how he tried to get Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward to join in.

Felt, 91, purportedly said he wanted Woodward, who, with Carl Bernstein, relied on Deep Throat in his reporting, to cooperate.

O’Connor and Felt’s daughter, Joan, tried to get Woodward to go along. The article pictures Woodward as neither confirming nor denying Felt was Deep Throat but acting in ways that certainly suggest that this is the truth. “Just because I’m talking to you, I’m not admitting that he is who you think he is,” Woodward told O’Connor.

But Woodward was concerned about Felt’s mental state, in talks and a visit with him, and, ultimately, he did not go along with a joint exposure plan.

When the article surfaced today, Woodward would also neither confirm nor deny the report. “There’s a principle involved here,” he told ABC News. He and Bernstein promised not to reveal Deep Throat’s identity until the source dies.

O’Connor told ABC News in an interview today that Felt had for years thought he was a dishonorable man for talking to Woodward during Watergate. “Mark wants the public respect, and wants to be known as a good man,” O’Connor said. “He’s very proud of the bureau, he’s very proud of the FBI. He now knows he is a hero.”

In his 1979 book, “The FBI Pyramid: From the Inside,” Felt denied that he was the famous source. “I would have done better,” Felt told The Hartford Courant in 1999. “I would have been more effective.”

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