02/15/2012 12:17 pm ET Updated Apr 16, 2012

The Profound Lies Of Deep Throat

Kids say the darndest things. Speaking to a college journalism class last week, I learned the students had recently seen the All The President's Men, the film noir tale of the Washington Post's pursuit of the Watergate scandal. When I asked what they thought of it, one young woman said she was pretty surprised by that Deep Throat fellow, the mysterious Post secret supersource who skulked about darkened parking garages for pre-dawn meetings. "I thought it was kind of amazing that they just believed anything he told them," she told me with a quizzical look that suggested I would be able to explain it.

But I couldn't. I've never been able to understand the blind faith of Bob Woodward and his editors in Deep Throat, their amazing insistence that he could be trusted in every detail because his only motive for revealing secrets was his love of truth, justice and the American way. And I understand it considerably less now that I've read an advance copy of a book by historian Max Holland to be published next month by the University Press of Kansas, Leak: Why Mark Felt Became Deep Throat.