Deep Throat: In the Loop

by Marianne Richmond on May 31, 2005


And what did the Deep Throat announcement mean to me? It brought me a nagging feeling that has remained all day….am I in the loop or out of the loop?

This morning, when I switched on the TV I heard Chris Matthews say that he was not at all surprised to hear that Mark felt was Deep
Throat. Mark Felt? Well, I was surprised to hear that Mark Felt was Deep Throat
since I had never heard the name Mark Felt before, from Matthews or anyone
else. I felt out of the loop. I called
an old friend who had always been in the loop. On November 22, 1963, from the
desk behind mine, he announced "Castro did it"  as the rest of our classroom
innocently processed the news that the President was dead. He inquired, “What
news?” when I asked if he had heard THE news today. For a moment I felt, in the loop. After I told him that Mark
Felt had revealed that he was Deep Throat, he paused and said, “Oh the FBI
guy?” Back out of the loop for me….

 As I returned to the TV news, the Deep Throat story was on
all the channels. There seemed to be three groups of stories: The first group
was the in the loop group of
reporters who all had known all along that it was Felt (who?); the second group was the, this is the biggest story of
our time group
(it is?); the
third group consisted of Woodward, Bernstein and Bradlee who spent all morning
insisting they would be the ones
revealing the identity of Deep Throat all
in due time
(huh?). Well, clearly
I was not alone in this feeling in or out
of the loop
thing. Chris Matthews, Tom Brokaw and the rest of the Big Boys
of Knew All Along Land really needed to be in the loop or what kind of Big Boys
would people think they were anyway? And the Biggest Story crowd, well every
story is big while THEY are reporting it, isn’t it?

As for the Washington Post Three…..well, a 91 year old man
had just denied them what they seemed to believe was their very own inalienable
right to be the loop and control the loop. By evening, they
had reconsidered and confirmed Mark Felt’s identity as Deep Throat. Sleep well
tonight, Mark Felt you have been officially designated, Deep Throat. For that,
I am grateful since otherwise the evening would have been filled with endless
noise as the in the loop group debated the veracity of Mark Felt’s announcement
which would have only added to the noise coming from the biggest story group.

When I picked my 14 year old son up school today, I further tested the concept of the loop. I asked him if anyone had discussed the announcement about Deep Throat at school. Immediately realizing the folly of my queery I changed it to a series of questions: Nixon? Watergate? Deep Throat? Deep Throat was the one he was not in the loop about so I offered a brief explanation. They had not discussed it in school today nor did he expect they would discuss it in the future. Clearly, I was not in the loop to have even asked.  He then asked why they called the guy Deep Throat and I said that Deep Throat was the name of a porno movie from the 70’s. "Mom, don’t EVER discuss anything having to do with sex with me," he said. No loop here.

Finally, I brought up the Deep Throat story tonight with my 92 year old mother. She was happy to talk about it with me because she said she had tried to discuss it with her tablemates at the assisted living home that she lives and none of them knew what she was talking about. Their memories aren’t so great she said…they just didn’t remember Watergate at all. They were not in this loop…they couldn’t remember the loop.

So…I think this is the point. These events take place in real time. We are in the loop as we watch, read, and listen as everyone else watches, reads and listens. Time passes. The current events become past events. Everyone holds onto their own perspectives. The past event surfaces again in the present for some reason and then like a game of musical chairs, the music stops and everyone tried to find their seat in the loop.

Where was yours today? OK, I did go to a resignation part in August 1972. And even though I wasn’t at Woodstock I……

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