If you’ve taken a history class, you know about Watergate, and you know it was “Deep Throat,” the FBI insider who brought the scandal down with secret phone calls to The Washington Post. But it wasn’t until 2005 that the public learned of Deep Throat’s true identity: he was Mark Felt, a special agent and the FBI’s Associate Director from 1972-73. In the new film Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House, Felt is played by the suitably deep-voiced Liam Neeson.
The Watergate scandal has been permanently imprinted in America’s historical memory, making for an instant low point of American politics upon the revelation that President Richard Nixon had authorized illegal information-gathering strategies against the Democratic Party. And yet that chapter only came to a close fairly recently; reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncovered Nixon’s conspiracy to spy on his political opponents, the President resigned, America moved on, but it was in 2005 that Woodward and Bernstein’s key source, the mysterious and gravel-voiced informant codenamed Deep Throat, made his identity known. With Nixon long gone and his own health starting to fail him, a former FBI spook named Mark Felt ‘fessed up to cooperating under the Deep Throat moniker.