‘Wash Post’ Adds Tidbit to ‘USA Today’ Scoop on Deep Throat Book

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By: E&P Staff

Vanity Fair scooped the Washington Post on the identity of Deep Throat, and now USA Today has scooped Simon & Schuster on some of the key revelations in Bob Woodward’s forthcoming book on his famous source.

The book, “The Secret Man,” is not due out until next Wednesday, but USA Today reporter Mark Memmott was able to buy a copy today that had been mistakenly put out for sale at a store in Fairfax County, Va. He ticked off the big surprises in a Web story Thursday afternoon.

Later Thursday, a Washington Post article by Bob Thompson, admitted that the book “contains no major revelations,” surely something of a disappointment. He did add one tidbit that comes from a small section of the book written by Woodward’s former partner Carl Bernstein, who recalls a conversation the two reporters kept out of their 1974 book, “All the President’s Men.”

It involves their realization one day in the fall of 1972 that, given their findings, President Nixon would one day be impeached. The two men agreed to never use the word “impeachment” in the newsroom, because Post editors “might think we had an agenda or that our reporting was overreaching or even that we had gone around the bend.”

Among the highlights released earlier by USA Today:

— The garage where Woodward and throat met is located “behind and underneath” 1401 Wilson Boulevard in the Rosslyn section of Arlington, Va.

— “Former Justice Department official Stanley Pottinger figured out in 1976 that Felt had been Deep Throat, but never told anyone but Woodward of his conclusion. Pottinger discovered the truth during testimony Felt was giving before a grand jury in 1976. The grand jury’s probe was not related to Watergate, but one of the jurors asked Felt if he had been Deep Throat,” and Felt, “flushed,” asked that the question be withdrawn. “Pottinger did not reveal what he had heard, Woodward writes, because he did not think it appropriate to unmask a reporter’s confidential source.”

— Watergate sleuths who always held that Felt could not be Deep Throat because he had given up smoking blew it because, Woodward says, Felt did smoke during their meetings, perhaps out of nerves.

— “Felt was able to give Woodward one of the most important scoops of the time — that there were gaps in an Oval Office recording of the president, indicating someone may have deliberately erased incriminating information — even though the former FBI official had retired several months earlier, because he was still “‘in touch with many friends’ at the bureau.”

— “Because of dementia, Felt can no longer remember much of what happened during the Watergate years or his time at the FBI,” according to Woodward.

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