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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
11:47 AM Fri, Nov. 16th

Too bad Deep Throat wasn't a sultry dame

In the annals of letdowns, this week's revelation that the legendary "Deep Throat" was one Mark Felt comes close to edging out Santa Claus for the top slot.

As one of a generation of reporters who came of age during the Watergate era, I confess that my reaction fell somewhat short of "Ohmigod, you gotta be kidding!! No wa-ay!!"

Instead, it went more like this: "Oh."

Mark Felt? Just the No. 2 guy in the FBI, aka "my friend?" THE Deep Throat? That's it?!

Apparently, not everyone was surprised. Felt's name had appeared on various "what if" lists through the years. After the story broke Tuesday in Vanity Fair, several "who-didn't-know" stories surfaced.

One was that Jacob Bernstein, the then-8-year-old son of Carl (of the famed Bob Woodward and Bernstein Washington Post reporting team) told a camp buddy years ago that Felt was Deep Throat. Bernstein's then-wife and Jacob's mother, writer Nora Ephron, posted on the Huffington Post blog that she figured it out years ago and told anyone who asked, including her son.

But Woodward and Bernstein kept their word and Felt's secret, thus spawning an industry in "Watergate" speculation. In the more than 30 years since Watergate, countless rumors have circulated, dozens of books have speculated, and many made fortunes. Until last week, the mystery has remained a tantalizing source of wonder. Who could it be?

Felt did not, in fact, die, but decided at the urging of his family to reveal himself.

As is often the case with mysteries, not knowing was much more fun than knowing. Now what?

In my own fantasy, Deep Throat would not have been a straight guy with a short haircut. For starters, he would have been a "she" ‹ a smoky-voiced, sultry agent whose high heels tapping against the parking garage floor signaled to Woodward that it was time to produce a Zippo. The lady needs a light.

Admit it: Didn't you really hope it was Mo Dean?

Those of us who watched the televised Watergate hearings during the spring and summer of 1973 were mesmerized by Mo Dean, wife of John Dean, who served as President Nixon's counsel. She was beautiful, elegant and classy.

Women admired her, men desired her. Even the name, Mo Dean, was a moniker made in Hollywood.

If only the throat had been a dame named Mo.

E-mail Kathleen Parker at kparker@kparker.com