- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 5, 2005

Watergate footnote

Before we close the Watergate chapter on retired FBI agent W. Mark Felt, who stepped out of Deep Throat’s closet last week, we turn to a most intriguing story by American Spectator senior editor George Neumayr.

In 1999, a teenager wrote a high school term paper that rocked Watergate scribe Carl Bernstein right out of his rocking chair by outing Mr. Felt (for his effort, the student’s teacher gave him a B).

How did Chase Culeman-Beckman, who wasn’t even born at the time of Watergate, know so much?

“Chase … had attended a posh Long Island summer camp with Carl Bernstein’s sonJacob roughly a decade earlier and had heard Jacob (then all of 8) popping off learnedly about ‘Mark Felt’ as Deep Throat,” Mr. Neumayr writes.

And get this, when the 20-page term paper found its way to scant members of the press in 1999, Mr. Bernstein conducted his own “cover-up.”

“Judging from his bobbing and weaving in press accounts, Bernstein was sweating,” notes the editor. “He appeared to be alternately playing dumb, lying and putting his son up to squashing the story.”

Mr. Bernstein told the Hartford Courant: “I hate to ruin your story, but Jacob Bernstein has not a clue as to the identity of Deep Throat. Bob [Woodward] and I have been wise enough never to tell our wives, and we’ve certainly never told our children.”

He even made Jacob, mere lad he was, go before the cameras: “At no point did my father, Carl Bernstein, orBob Woodward reveal the identity of Deep Throat,” the boy declared.

Concludes Mr. Neumayr: “How a high school student got Carl Bernstein lying and sweating like Richard Nixon deserves its own journalistic footnote.”

Golf outing

Here’s an update to a story that appeared in this newspaper last Friday, which detailed how a conservative Catholic magazine and affiliated think tank offered a combined golf package and “White House briefing” — previously scheduled for tomorrow — in exchange for a hefty contribution.

Crisis magazine and the Morley Institute for Church and Culture advertised its seventh annual golf tournament fundraiser today at Bull Run Country Club in Haymarket, Va., as including a White House briefing.

But when religion reporter Julia Duin of The Washington Times called to inquire, the White House quickly canceled the event, calling it “wholly inappropriate.”

However, over the weekend we learned that Crisis magazine in 2003 and 2004 did have Bush White House officials conduct briefings for those who plunked down anywhere from $1,500 to $6,000 to attend the tournament.

White House spokesman Trent Duffy confirms that in 2003, White House Faith-Based and Community Initiatives chief Jim Towey and White House Deputy Director of Public Liaison Tim Goeglein addressed the golfers, while in 2004 it was Mr. Towey and White House liaison official Matt Smith doing the honors.

“One person … swore [senior Bush aide] Karl Rove dropped by as well at one of these klatches,” Miss Duin tells Inside the Beltway.

Dogged reporter

During the past two years, reporter Jerry Seper of The Washington Times has spent several months traveling the southern and northern border states “pursuing stories of real Americans on the receiving end of our dysfunctional immigration system.”

Or so the Center for Immigration Studies has observed, announcing that Mr. Seper has been awarded the 2005 Eugene Katz Award for Excellence in the Coverage of Immigration, intended to promote informed and fair reporting “on this most contentious and complicated issue.”

The center has been critical of major newspapers in this country for neglecting the immigration issue by tacking it on to coverage of racial and ethnic issues.

No escape

Influential clients of the Andre Chreky salon in downtown Washington are being asked to think about more than their hair and nails this summer.

The salon’s owners are seeking clients’ help in persuading Congress to pass legislation that would extend to the salon industry a tax credit currently available to the restaurant industry. Both pay federal taxes on tips their employees report, but only restaurant owners can claim the so-called 45(b) tip tax credit to get some money back.

“It’s just unfair,” says salon co-owner Serena Chreky, who also is vice president and co-chairwoman of government affairs for the Salon Association.

So, along with tips on facials and hair coloring, the salon is providing clients a tutorial on the bill — sponsored by Sen. Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania Republican, and Rep. Nancy L. Johnson, Connecticut Republican.

Mrs. Chreky says salons could use the tax credit money for costs such as health insurance and employee training.

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or [email protected]

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