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Woodward and Bernstein visit ‘Deep Throat’ and Walnut Creek

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Tuesday, November 18th, 2008 at 12:16 pm in Political events.

Bob Woodward

Bob Woodward

Carl Bernstein

Carl Bernstein

UPDATE 11/20/08: The Santa Rosa Press Democrat published a very nice story today about Woodward and Bernstein’s visit to see Mark Felt that includes a photo. Click here for the story.

UPDATE 11/21/08: Click here for my story today with more details of the visit and the observations of Alicia Shepard, author of “In the Shadow of Watergate.”

Watergate reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein visited their famous source — known for 33 years only as “Deep Throat” — in Santa Rosa a few days ago.

William Mark Felt Sr., a former deputy FBI director, is in his 90s now and showed signs of dementia during the visit but had moments of extreme clarity, Bernstein told a Walnut Creek audience Monday night.

The men spoke in a rare joint appearance Monday night at the Lesher Speaker Series in wide ranging discussion on everything from Watergate to media bias to the state of the newspaper industry to the Barack Obama presidency.

Woodward said meeting with Felt was like a family reunion.

But Bernstein had never met Felt before. It was like “coming full circle,” Bernstein said. He also said Deep Throat never really provided new information but confirmed details they received from multiple sources. He would often tell them whether they were on the right or wrong track.

The public learned of Deep Throat’s identity in a 2005 Vanity Fair magazine article.

In an interview with the Contra Costa Times prior to their Monday performance, Woodward and Bernstein described the release of Felt’s name as an anxious time.

They resisted talking about Felt.

They had, after all, protected their source’s name for more than three decades and vowed to keep the secret until Felt’s death or they were sufficiently assured of his desire to come forward.

“It was a very emotional day,” Woodward said.

I was thrilled — and nervous — to serve as the moderator for the Woodward-Bernstein appearance and it was an extraordinary experience. I also had the opportunity to listen to interviews the two men gave prior to their performance and watched them visit with East Bay high school journalism students. I’ve posted below a few short video clips of the interview and the student reception.

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