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The Nation: Woodward on the Record–Sort of

2 minute read

Though he has proved himself a probing, tenacious reporter, Bob Woodward bitterly resents being on the receiving end of an interview if the subject is Deep Throat. But last week, as speculation swirled anew about his phantom Watergate source, Woodward reluctantly agreed to a terse session with TIME Correspondent Hays Gorey.

Q. Given all that has happened, do you feel you owe the American people any additional evidence of your credibility —such as the identity of Deep Throat?

A. No. And I don’t think reporters trying to identify other reporters’ sources is the noblest kind of journalism.

Q. Isn’t Deep Throat more than just another “source”? How do we know he exists?

A. My editors at the [Washington] Post know he exists—though they don’t know who he is. From the beginning, I typed up detailed memos of our interviews on six-ply paper for in-house distribution. This was before Howie [Post Managing Editor Howard Simons] nicknamed him Deep Throat. He was “X” or “Mr. X” then.

Q. Does Carl Bernstein know who he is?

A. Carl knows.

Q. Did Deep Throat help on the new

book [The Final Days]?

A. I won’t answer that. It might help


Q. Since the time frames of the two

books overlap, you must certainly have

used Deep Throat for the second book

—or else he is a composite.

A. There is a Deep Throat, and he is not a composite.

Q. Why doesn’t he come forth?

A. When we wrote All the President’s Men, he declined to be named.

Q. For what reasons?

A. He has a career in government. He thinks that while he might be a hero to some, he would be a rat or a snitcher in some eyes.

Q. Will he ever go public?

A. Some day he’ll come forth. If he were to die, I would feel obliged to reveal his identity. Some day he’ll write a really fascinating book. Carl and I would like to work on it with him.

Q. Many of your colleagues still think you made him up.

A. Well, the ultimate test ought to be: Were our stories credible? Was our book credible? Have they held up?

Q. Why did Deep Throat help you?

A. It was an act of conscience—a result of his own disillusionment.

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