The River

Friday, June 03, 2005

Sore Throat

By Billmon

There was a time when the exposure of Deep Throat's identity would have grabbed my attention in a big way: At last! The answer to all those boozy guessing games at all those journalistic watering holes of my younger days. Al Haig? John Dean? Martha Mitchell . . . no wait, wasn't she dead by then?

But it doesn't really matter any more. Anonymous whistleblowers have become little more than curious anachronisms, as likely to turn out to be bumbling fools or cynical disinformation artists (paging Michael Isikoff) as dedicated civil servants wiling to risk their careers to save the Republic.

The Republic is rather obviously beyond saving now -- even George Lucas understands that. Which is why the self-outing of Mark Felt had about as much relevance to our current slow motion coup d'├ętat as a late-night cable rerun of All the President's Men.

It was, however, a very contemporary story in that it was clearly less about filling in the historical record and more about about cashing in on it.


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