- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 1, 2005

“Deep Throat” has come out of his cold, dank, dark parking garage at long last — and better late than never to some — as his family tries to scrub the unseemliness out of his actions, cloaked as they were in ax-to-grind anonymity.

It is difficult to turn agenda-driven anonymity into a selfless act of courageousness, but if any city is up to the challenge, it is this gasbag den of the self-important, self-absorbed and self-obsessed.

Deep Throat, of course, is from another Washington, another time, one of the great Washington mysteries of yesteryear that eventually lost its sweeping capacity to intrigue, if only because his time faded from view and a significant portion of the population was not even born at the time the No. 2 person in the FBI was lurking in parking garages.

Deep Throat lacked the sizzle of stripper Fanne Foxe leaping from the limousine of Wilbur Mills and taking a dip in the Tidal Basin; Wayne Hays putting his typing-challenged mistress on the public payroll and John and Rita Jenrette rolling around on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

Yet Deep Throat had the slick packaging of Hollywood in his favor — in the form of the shadowy, fidgety Hal Holbrook.

Deep Throat was part of a Washington that remains ever distinct from the workaday Washington that lives and plays along the edges of the power corridor. The distinction is ever apparent in the observations of first-time visitors who shed previously held assumptions gleaned from the backdrops of television news reports.

“I never imagined Washington to be chock-full of so many different neighborhoods, each one kind of self-contained and apolitical,” a visitor from Western Europe said recently. “I just kind of thought of the city as the monuments and politics, and there are the monuments and politics, but really, there is so much more to the city than that. And one has very little to do with the other.”

The contrast between official Washington and workaday Washington is ever pronounced with the coming-out party of Deep Throat.

It is being staged amid a measure of indifference — like one of those 30-year, high-school reunions, tedious to the core, recalling a time and place that looks antiquated in the rear-view mirror.

Deep Throat goes down as a Washington footnote, as the most famous of all the anonymous sources, a practice refined to an art among inside-the-Beltway types and forever a risky venture, as Dan Rather and Newsweek could attest.

Deep Throat, meet Anonymous Source.

The Anonymous Source is the leading citizen of Washington today. He is into a zillion activities and reveals it all, some of it true. Deep Throat bequeathed his reliability to Anonymous Source.

Deep Throat looks as frail and tired as the forgotten game itself.

It was a Washington sport of sorts at one time, this game of Name Deep Throat, and part parody as well, as it was a sign of one’s connections to power to be identified as Deep Throat, with the obligatory denial.

Yet Deep Throat, the notion, eventually became so last millennium, so distant, that his emergence reveals a disconnect between the old and new, not unlike John Kerry’s wrapping himself in his Vietnam service during his presidential campaign.

We have Deep Throat as a notion and now Deep Throat as a person. He was always better as a notion, for he could be whatever you wanted him to be.

Now the dinosaurs of the old press have started to clear their throats and fill the 24-hour news cycle with their views of the feeble, old soul; the one-time Washington power broker with a timeless agenda.

Theirs is sort of a last hurrah, for Deep Throat would not necessarily seek the anonymity of a parking lot today. He would seek the anonymity of the Internet from his office at home, possibly in his pajamas, the apparel used to deride the bloggers of cyberspace.


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