Liberty Just in Case

A Dialogue for the September 12th World

Deep Throat, Deeper Yawn

Posted by Mark on June 1, 2005

When I first heard the story yesterday, I said, “Huh, that’s interesting.” then went on with my life. Then I heard the story again a few minutes later. Then CNN went wall-to-wall. Then MSNBC did the same thing.

I know, I know. I’m supposed to be awestruck that Mark Felt (gasp!) is Deep Throat. At the top and bottom of each hour throughout the night, and on through today, I’ve heard the earth-shattering news, again and again. The Washington Post (Be still my heart!) confirms it!!!! We (gasp!) KNOW (gasp!) who Deep Throat was! (gasp! pant! gasp!) Frankly, I think the MSM needs an asthma treatment.

History is one of my favorite hobbies, as anyone who has read Liberty for any length of time can attest. The finding of thousands of ancient greek scrolls, the face of King Tut and the question of rather Lincoln was gay have been prominent posts here. So why isn’t this story making me do the backflips I’m seeing among the journalists
reporting this story?

I think part of the answer lies here:

But more than solving a legendary Washington riddle, Felt’s admission also breathed some much-needed life into the dying support for anonymous sources, which seems to have crippled journalistic credibility in many areas. From WMDs to the Valerie Plame case to Newsweek’s recent stumble, confidential sourcing is a much battered journalistic tool.

A legendary Washington riddle. Yep. It was legend in Washington, alright. But, except for a movie decades ago, the rest of the country really didn’t care much. But the right and left coasts sure did.

But the bigger reason for the media frenzy lies in the rest of the paragraph. Mainstream Journalism has been under attack by the bloggers for the past 2 years, finally bringing anonymous sourcing into the light of day. And now the media can breathe a huge sigh of relief, as their most successful example of anonymous sourcing can be brought forward. It doesn’t change the shoddy journalism that the bloggers have brought to light. But it gives the liberal media a chance to stand tall for a minute or two, and remember their mythology of bringing down a President.

So, what did journalism’s hunt for Nixon really do? The answer lies in the Ben Stein’s column in the next post.

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