Journalistic cat fight


The New York Times, usually diplomatically deferential in protecting and favoring journalists (particularly their own—see Jayson Blair [until caught], Judith Miller, Paul Krugman), seems to take a different approach when it comes to covering Bob Woodward, the famed Washington Post reporter who started his career ascent just as Nixon began his career descent—with Watergate. 

Anyone knowledgeable with the history of Watergate knows that the Times was always envious and angry that the Post scooped them repeatedly during the Watergate affair. Old feuds never seem to end at the Times.

In this article, the Times seems to indict Woodward for refusing to reach a financial agreement with  the ailing and needy W. Mark Felt (a.k.a. Deep Throat). The Times noted that Felt was very sickly and had been trying for months to get Woodward to agree to a financial arrangement to help Felt and his family. The Times further notes that Felt and Watergate had helped Woodward become a millionaire and yet, despite this , Woodward apparently felt he owed nothing to Felt.*

There appears to be a race going on between Felt and Woodward, regarding who can get a book out faster telling the tales behind Deep Throat. The Times claims that the Post had gotten wind of Felt's imminent desire to tell the story and told Woodward that the time had come to tell his story — and "as quickly as possible." The Times also is reporting that Mr. Woodward's longtime publisher now plans to 'rush" his own, "long—planned book on his relationship with Mr. Felt into print this summer". Seems like the Times is depicting this as an unseemly rush for the money—a departure from the holiness they normally accord journalists. Sour grapes, perhaps?
* Such obliviousness may be a Woodward trait. He appeared on  a celebrity Jeopardy Tournament in May of last year. Most contestants donated their winnings accrued during the show to such worthy charities as hospitals, welfare groups, medical research foundations and the like. Woodward, elitists and out—of—touch, chose to make Sidwell Friends his "charity" of choice. This is one of the ritziest and most well—endowed private schools in Washington D.C. and is where his daughter attends high school. Washington has one of the highest rates of homelessness, poverty and crime in the nation yet Woodward chooses to direct his winnings to a Waspy redoubt for the well—borne.

Ed Lasky    6 2 05