We are proud to have reminded our friends at Commentary magazine of its publication of Edward Jay Epstein’s brilliant July 1974 essay: “Did the press uncover Watergate?” Commentary has now dug the essay out of its digital archives and made it available online in html at the link.
Nothing published this week on the subject comes close to Epstein’s essay in illuminating the issues involved in the the case of Deep Throat and the press. The commentary on Deep Throat in the press this week week reeks of the self-glorifying mythology that Epstein meticulously deconstructed as such thirty years ago.
I said earlier this week in “Deep Epstein” when I linked to the version of the essay at Epstein’s site that I vaguely recalled Epstein having named Mark Felt as the likely Deep Throat in his Commentary essay. Epstein wrote to say that he had done so in the version of the essay he published in Between Fact and Fiction. It turns out, however, that he in fact named Felt in his original Commentary essay. Here is the relevant passage of the essay:
If Bernstein and Woodward did not in fact expose the Watergate conspiracy or the cover-up, what did they expose? The answer is that in late September they were diverted to the trail of Donald H. Segretti, a young lawyer who had been playing