'Someone in a Position to Know Told Me'

J$P Instant Transcript! Eric Burns tells Shepard Smith that he knows the identity of Deep Throat.

From Studio-B with Shepard Smith, February 18 2005:

SHEPARD SMITH [FOX NEWS]: Well it's a mystery that's gripped the nation for large periods of time over the last three decades. Who was it that tipped off the reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein about the Watergate scandal, leading to the collapse of the Nixon White House? Fox's media analyst Eric Burns says he knows. How do you know? Who is it?

ERIC BURNS [FOX NEWS]: Because someone who is in a position to know, and who is fairly recently deceased, and I kept his secret until that point, told me.

SMITH: How sure are you that he was right?

BURNS: I'm not positive, but what he told me is the most sensible explanation I have ever heard. You want--

SMITH: And he's in the position--

BURNS: He was in a position--

SMITH: --to absolutely know, prior to his passing?

BURNS: He was Stephen Ambrose.

SMITH: All right, well that's interesting.

BURNS: The noted historian, who had at Simon & Schuster the same editor as Woodward and Bernstein. Stephen Ambrose told me this. There is in the safe at Simon & Schuster a copy of the first manuscript draft of All the President's Men. In it there is no Deep Throat. What does that mean? Deep Throat was a later insertion. Why? Because an editor at Simon & Schuster--and as I said they have the same editor, her name is Alice Mayhew, and she is a legend in the business--is supposed to have said two things to these cub reporters who were looking for their first big book advance. First, your book has so many sources in it that it's a little hard for the reader to keep up. Second, your book is lacking a little something in narrative drive. I mean, it's like a bunch of newspaper articles. It's good, it's important, but I have, Ambrose believes she said, one solution to both problems. Let's tie all your sources into one source, and let's make him a mystery man.

SMITH: Deep Throat, smoking in the car park.

BURNS: As the moviemakers decided to do it. But think about that. First of all, it's the same thing, Shep, as saying, as a lot of people have said, which is the most sensible explanation, that Deep Throat's a composite. What I'm saying here is not a suggestion that the information provided by or attributed to Deep Throat was false. Simply that the identity of this person was false. It is exactly the same as saying there are a lot of people who contributed to Deep Throat. And you know, people have done studies, people who know a lot more about this than I do, in which they've said it's very unlikely that the person who gave Woodward and Bernstein this information, was placed in such a way that he or she could [also] have known this.

SMITH: It was a lot of stuff.

BURNS: It was a lot of stuff. It's not just it was a lot of stuff; it was a lot of stuff that was widely varied in source. So the likelihood that it's more than one person is great. The likelihood that this is an artistic invention is even greater. Look at this, it's 30--when was that book published, '74?

SMITH: Yep, '73, '4, yeah.

BURNS: All right, so it's more than 30 years, we're still talking about it. And why? Because Deep Throat has exactly the same characteristics as the great villains or mystery men of fiction. Why does Deep Throat resemble fiction? I think Stephen Ambrose is right. Deep Throat is fiction.

SMITH: Deep Throat is a group of people who told accurate, probably, as far as we know--

BURNS: No one has ever suggested that the information isn't accurate. But this--

SMITH: So accurate information from a lot of people, and some editor decided let's make it Deep Throat, and it never existed.

BURNS: Let's make it--no, and you know another reason to believe in this, is that when the moviemakers decided to do this too. They were looking at the Woodward and Bernstein first draft, and they thought, and this is on various records, they thought exactly the same thing. Well, what happened to Nixon is pretty interesting, but this book isn't very interesting. The creation of Deep Throat solved all manner of problems. And if I'm--there's an ultimate way to know whether I'm right, and I think I am because what Ambrose said makes so much sense, and whether Ambrose is right. Supposedly Woodward at least, I don't know about Bernstein, but Woodward has said when Deep Throat dies, his identity will be revealed.

SMITH: Yeah. He said that repeatedly.

BURNS: Well, first of all, that's an out. If you're going to attribute something to someone who's dead, is that person going to come back and say it's not true? Maybe I'm susceptible to the same charge because I am saying that Stephen Ambrose told me this. Ambrose told some other people too. But if he's going to wait until the person can't say I'm not Deep Throat, doesn't that suggest there's some credibility problems? And I submit to you that even when Deep Throat--if there were a Deep Throat and were to die, we still wouldn't be told about it.

SMITH: Eric, is there a Loch Ness Monster?

BURNS: See, what you have to do before I come on is you have to tell me what the topics are.

SMITH: I'm concerned that Nessie's not real.

BURNS: I have to do some research.

SMITH: So there's no Deep Throat. I mean, get that, start your blogging. I mean, Eric--

BURNS: That's why I said this morning that with this information revealed, it will be not a big expose but a big disappointment.

SMITH: Newswatch this weekend. Do not miss it, not this weekend. Don't.

BURNS: Actually, there's more on Deep Throat that you might find intriguing that I'm not going to share with you.

SMITH: Kind of you. Bye.


posted: Fri - February 18, 2005 at 04:28 PM       j$p  send 

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Title: I\'m skeptical that Deep Throat was a composite
Excerpt: if it was a composite, a collection of many other sources, then all of those other sources would recognize themselves in the situations described in the book, all of whom would know that Deep Throat wasn\'t a single person... and none of them have sp...
Blog name: ThoughtsOnline
February 18, 2005, 2:53:42 PM EST – Like

I'm guessing the Fox haters will find a way to make this into a rabid right wing conspiracy...
February 18, 2005, 5:54:42 PM EST – Like – Reply

The Fox haters will find a way to make ANYTHING into a rabid right wing conspiracy.
But I have a lot of fun on Newshounds jerking those idiots around when they do.
February 18, 2005, 7:11:21 PM EST – Like – Reply

Wrong.......Over the past month or so it has been said that the obituary for Deepthroat had been worked on. The assumption was and is that at the time Deepthroats' health was suffering.
There was one person, who had the position at the time of watergate who was indeed hospitalized during most of january.
At the time of water gate this individual was the chairman of the national republican party. Someone who had been pushed out of actual power by CREEP, John Mitchell, Haldeman and Ehrlichman. Someone, who if they wanted to evetually run for president after nixon left office, would have to consolidate his power, which was being prevented by the CREEP troika.
That person is.......Bob Dole.
Who happens to be a guy who has been known to throw and elbow while playing politics.
February 19, 2005, 12:28:27 PM EST – Like – Reply

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Title: The Watergate feeding frenzy continues - fake, but
Excerpt: The danger here is that the "Fake, but accurate" standard introduced by CBS during Rathergate may be taking hold. As numerous MSM/DNC scandals emerge over the dishonesty of past and present reports, "fake, but accurate" will emerge as a last line o...
Blog name: The Cassandra Page
February 19, 2005, 12:34:02 PM EST – Like

johnny dollar
A message has been deleted for rules violation.
February 19, 2005, 3:40:53 PM EST – Like – Reply

I am not that interested in the ID of Deep Throat. But more important issues emerge. It is telling that the MSM will never let Watergate (or Vietnam) die. It is also telling from this interview that the "fake, but accurate" defense rides again. If Deep Throat doesn't exist, those stories are the equivalent of forgeries. Yet they are defended because they are supposedly accurate. This is exactly how Rather continues to defend the Bush/Guard story.
Click on my name for more discussion of this disturbing trend in MSM apologia.
February 19, 2005, 5:44:13 PM EST – Like – Reply

Hasn't Woodward specifically denied that Deep Throat was a composite figure?
February 20, 2005, 1:53:51 AM EST – Like – Reply