CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Christmas Gift Guide
Internet

Salon sells Deep Throat tell-all that doesn't

A much-anticipated book published to the Internet aims to zero in on the identity of the Watergate informant known as Deep Throat.

Online publisher Salon.com on Monday released a much-anticipated e-book that aims to zero in on the identity of the Watergate source known as Deep Throat.

"Unmasking Deep Throat" doesn't. But it does cast doubts on some previous suspects. And it promises to narrow the field of people who may have fed inside information to Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein during the 1970s political scandal that led to Richard Nixon's resignation as president.

The book, pegged to the 30th anniversary of a botched break-in at the Watergate Hotel, was penned by former Nixon White House counsel John Dean and has led to considerable controversy.

Critics charge that Dean--who served time for his role in the scandal--is not in a position to know the identity of Deep Throat. What's more, the book purports to "handicap" a pool of suspects instead of living up to its promise to "unmask the real Deep Throat," as Salon Editor in Chief David Talbot wrote in a May 1 letter to readers announcing the book.

The book is available only in electronic form, which publishers say will allow the author to update it as he unearths new research. It is available on the Salon site for $8.

"The e-book format allowed us to provide readers with the depth of a traditional printed book and the up-to-the-minute currency of online news," Salon.com Managing Editor Scott Rosenberg said in a statement. "It will also allow us to update the investigation as new evidence is uncovered."

Deep Throat helped Woodward and Bernstein piece together the workings of an operation aimed at re-electing Nixon to the White House in 1972, using methods that included installing surveillance equipment in the offices of the Democratic National Committee.

Political events have been a boon for news sites online, which watched their traffic soar during proceedings related to the impeachment scandal and the presidential election. Many sites set records in the days following the 2000 Presidential election debacle as people tried in vain to find out whom their new president was going to be. Those numbers have since been topped by news related to Sept. 11.

Before that, the release of special counsel Kenneth Starr's report on President Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky drew an unprecedented number of surfers to sites that posted the document.