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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The man with his eye on the flowerpot has come out from the shadows.

In an interview with Vanity Fair magazine, W. Mark Felt, a senior F.B.I. official during the Nixon administration, has admitted to being the anonymous source who helped Washington Post reporters connect a "second-rate burglary" and its cover-up to the president of the United States.

The Washington Post's website eventually announced that Woodward Confirms Felt Is Deep Throat, and said Bob Woodward would have an in-depth story on Thursday. It already has transcripts, sidebars and archives online. Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the reporters who broke the Watergate story, and their former boss, Benjamin C. Bradlee, issued the confirmation after the announcement by Vanity Fair and Felt's family.

Bradlee's quote: "The thing that stuns me is that the goddamn secret has lasted this long."

The New York Times story headlined "F.B.I. Official Revealed He Was Watergate Source in Interview," was accompanied by a box of "related" items, including its book and film reviews of All the President's Men, a downloadable PDF file of the Vanity Fair article, and links to Watergate documents at

The Hartford Courant, which wrote about Felt as the secret source six years ago, put the Associated Press story on its website this afternoon, with a question mark, 'Deep Throat' Identity Revealed? It linked to its 1999 story, inspired by a young man who said Bernstein's son had told him Felt's name. At that time, the Courant also cited transcripts of White House tapes suggesting Felt was suspected of being the anonymous source Woodward would signal with a flower pot on his balcony, according to All the President's Men. Tuesday night, the Courant posted the updated story, with the confirmation from Woodward, Bernstein and Bradlee, and no question mark.

After the Vanity Fair story broke Tuesday, the Web sites of publications from The Atlantic Monthly to Slate, front-paged their past speculations about Felt.

Slate's headline and byline: Felt Tip: Why Deep Throat finally fessed up. By Timothy Noah (who knew it was Mark Felt all along).

update: who-had-the-flowerpot error corrected June 1
Thursday link added June 3

8:56:52 PM    

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