01 June 2005

Deep Throated.

So Mark Felt hops up (metaphorically) and says "I am Deep Throat." It must be a slow news day at the Contrived News Network, 'cause they're wallpapering with this thing. By slow news day at CNN, I mean there must not be a single cute, missing, Caucasian child in the lower 48 (can't get the news truck to AK or HI), or else nothing at all was going on in the trial of Everyone's Favorite Freakshow.

I'll not be researching this whole affair with the depth you'll get elsewhere, but it seems that some are very quick to drape the hero cape on this guy who, while in senior management at the FBI, spilled lots of info to a reporter from The Post. What, no agents would listen to your musings? Is due process a one-way street? What if J. Edgar Hoover had lived 6 more months, or 6 more years? Lotsa questions on this one.

Anyway, I'm jaded enough to proclaim that a lot of the momentum pushing this story forward has everything to do with the Mainstream Media trying to plug the dike. The conventional wisdom is that WoodStein double-handedly moved Richard Nixon out of the Oval Office. They and they alone dug up all the proof necessary by practicing good old hard-nosed journalism, and their screenplay became the greatest single achievement in the history of the American free press. Without people like them, why Nixon would STILL be there, by crom. Now, in the wake of Dan Rather, Eason Jordan, Jayson Blair, Jack Kelley, etc., and the emergence of alternative credible media, the huge corporate players are hammering the Bob & Carl Show as proof of the validity and virility of Big Press.

But how much was uncovered by the dynamic duo, and how much was actually discovered by the slow, dimwitted, federal government investigators? The guys at Powerline have a link to an excellent (and by no means new) essay on how a lot of the key information actually unfolded back in those weird years:
Perhaps the most perplexing mystery in Bernstein and Woodward's book is why they fail to understand the role of the institutions and investigators who were supplying them and other reporters with leaks. This blind spot, endemic to journalists, proceeds from an unwillingness to see the complexity of bureaucratic in-fighting and of politics within the government itself. If the government is considered monolithic, journalists can report its activities, in simply comprehended and coherent terms, as an adversary out of touch with popular sentiments. On the other hand, if governmental activity is viewed as the product of diverse and competing agencies, all with different bases of power and interests, journalism becomes a much more difficult affair.
Here's some more related grist for the mill:
Can anyone even remember now what Nixon did that was so terrible? He ended the war in Vietnam, brought home the POW's, ended the war in the Mideast, opened relations with China, started the first nuclear weapons reduction treaty, saved Eretz Israel's life, started the Environmental Protection Administration.
Dick was a flawed man, and had to go, but you gotta admire Ben's chutzpah for going contrarian on such a news day.

1 comment:

Dawn said...

This is the last great hurrah for the MSM, since most of them are aging hippies anyway. Who cares about Deep Throat? That's so 70's...