Monday, June 13, 2005

Deep Doo-Doohead

Posted by: spacecog on Buzznet
Now that the stupid spectacle of the Michael Jackson trial is over, we at The Reader Sucks can return our attention to even stupider things – like, for example, Michael "Scoops" Miner. This week Miss Stupid Thing delves shallowly into the mysteries of Deep Throat. The column is written in Miner’s typically, er, indirect style, which make the point of all his bloviating nearly as mysterious as the identity of Mr. Throat before he popped out of the Woodwardwork and into the pages of Vanity Fair.

Evidently, though, Miner is shocked-times-two by the devious deceptions practiced by W&B in their attempts to keep their famously anonymous source anonymous. After several hundred words of throatclearing, Miner devotes most of the story to investigative-journalist-cum-j school-prof William Gaines, who announced with great fanfare two years ago that he’d conclusively identified Deep Throat. Only he got the wrong guy. He blames W&B for planting red herrings instead of Blue’s Clues. The smoking gun here? W&B depicted Deep Throat as a smoker, yet the real Mr. Throat, Mark Felt, doesn’t smoke. (Well, unless you light him on fire.)

Fast-forward to today, and to perhaps the biggest irony of Miner’s dopey column. Though Miner finds it "perverse" that journalists Judith Miller (of the New York Times) and Matthew Cooper (Time) won’t reveal the identity of their own Deep Throat to a special prosecutor, Miner himself has no trouble using anonymous sources in his own attempts at journalism – even when there’s no reason beyond simple laziness for doing so.

For an infinitely more coherent and sensible take on Miller and Cooper, look here. For a brilliant and nuanced take on the strange relationships of journalists and their sources, read this.


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