Media rallies around Deep Throat


Columnists (Cohen calls Felt a "Brave Friend")  across the nation are rushing to honor and praise Mark Felt for his role as Deep Throat — the No.2 man at the FBI during the Nixon years who helped to reveal the secrets behind Watergate and sundry other acts of malfeasance by Richard Nixon and Company. Praise is probably deserved, especially as the man approaches his twilight years.
However, could the mainstream media have an alternative rationale in the hagiographic treatment—say, honoring by reflected glory people such as Richard Clarke, Joe Wilson, Michael Scheuer, and assorted other Administration officials who have come "out of the closet" and savagely critiqued George Bush? By praising Felt, the media hopes to nourish a further stream of "defectors" who will disparage Bush. Simultaneously, Woodward and Berstein share the honor as reporters who facilitated the truth—telling—thereby enhancing the positions of journalists like Judith Miller of the New York Times who is under pressure due to her receipt of leaks.
The New York Times indeed uses Felt as a reason to shield reporters and leakers from opprobrium. Of course, the Times editorial board has to oddly get in a shot at bloggers and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (talk about a non—sequitur) by predicting that these types of people will start trying to disparage Mark Felt or try to debunk his claim. This shows that the Times is just neurotic about any threats to its standing as the sole purveyors of truth in the world.
Ed Lasky   6 1 05
Richard Baehr adds:
The media likes to attack the demand for absolute loyalty by the current President of his underlings. But many  Bush administration employees have either leaked to the media to harm the President while still in office or written their scathing memoirs or joined the lecture circuit to do the same soon thereafter. On the other hand, can one name any Clinton administration leakers or defectors, other than Dick Morris, after he was fired?? Except on the Lewinsky story, when the media's love of sexual dirt trumped party loyalty,  and sent them digging for leaks, the most of hte press corps seemed thrilled to have fellow members of their social, political and intellectual class housed in the White House during the Clinton years.  The new "love affair"  with and tributes to Deep Throat Mark Felt  suggests  that the standard for media affection for leakers is which Administration, and which political party you help bring down.
Ed Lasky reponds:
Great points. And Dick Morris seems to some extent to have been vilified as  back—stabbing traitor. Gennifer Flowers and Paula Jones are characterized and disparaged as  the female equivalent of lounge lizards or trailer trash. The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth share some linkage with whistleblowers and likewise are subjected to humiliating treatment by the self—anointed media titans. Leakers or whistleblowers of Republican administrations are toasted by the mainstream media, receive lucrative book contracts and speaking assignments, get lucrative gigs as columnists (for instance, Richard Clarke in the New York Times Magazine) or get hired by Democratic campaigns (Joe Wilson hired by Kerry) and liberal think tanks.