Wednesday, June 01, 2005

DEEP THROAT THOUGHTS

Tuesday's Deep Throat revelations brought back lots of Watergate memories.

Sitting in Okie's every afternoon during a period of unemployment in the summer of '73, watching the Senate Watergate Committee hearings on TV. ... Learning the phrase "twisting slowly slowly in the wind" ... Listening to my grandmother defending Sen. Joe Montoya, whose questions at the hearings became something of a national joke. "They're not dumb questions," Nana would say. "He just has to go last, so most the good questions have already been asked." ...

Watching Nixon resign on a black 'n' white TV in the projection booth of the Master Adult Theater in the summer of '74. Hey, it was a job. At least I wasn't hanging out at Okie's every day. Plus I read a lot of Hemingway and Fitzgerald in that room that summer, and back then country radio was really good. When Nixon made his announcement, I figured that this was a goddamn historic moment and the guys in the auditorium had a right to know, even if they were just a bunch of pathetic old porn scum. So I shut down the projector, walked into the theater and told them Nixon had resigned -- only to get answered with a bunch of "boos," "fuck yous" and "turn the movie back on, dammit!!!!" ...

Interviewing John Ehrlichman for The Santa Fe Reporter at Fenn Gallery in the early '80s, and how he later sent my editor a note calling my effort "sleazy," which I took as a badge of honor. ... Interviewing Egil "Bud" Krough, another Nixon man who did time in prison for Watergate, when Ehrlichman died in 1999 ...

Visiting Nixon's grave with my son in the 1990s and feeling vaguely sad. The last time I'd been that close to Nixon was a '72 campaign stop in Albuquerque, and I, along with a few hundred protesters, was screaming my lungs out. A nice old Republican lady came up to me and said, "You shouldn't do that. We don't come boo your candidate." She was so sincere, I was kind of embarrassed. "Sorry ma'am," I muttered. "I just have to." Say what you want about Tricky Dick, in those days candidates actually went out and came face to face with protesters.

My favorite read on Deep Throat so far is by Hank Stuever of The Washington Post (and formerly of The Albuquerque Tribune). Read it Here

My favorite passage from Hank's essay is this:


Had he lived in this era, Deep Throat might not have lasted long. He'd be blogged to bits. He'd be Drudged, smudged, Romenesko'd. People would disprove him with their own Deep Throats. His identity would be discovered within a news cycle or two, spun around, and he'd be left holding a book contract.

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