Take that, debunkers

Salon: Debunking Deep Throat’s debunkers. Hilarious article by Ken Hughes, associated with the University of Virginia Miller Center for Public Affairs project on the Nixon tapes. Hughes takes on a series of arguments made by two recent books that attempt to claim that Deep Throat and Bob Woodward could not have exchanged messages by marked newspapers and balcony flags by actually going to Woodward’s building and trying it out himself. A sample:

“If Deep Throat wanted a meeting — which was rare — there was a different procedure. Each morning, Woodward would check page 20 of his New York Times, delivered to his apartment house before 7 a.m. If a meeting was requested, the page number would be circled and the hands of a clock indicating the time of the rendezvous would appear in a lower corner of the page. Woodward did not know how Deep Throat got to his paper.”

Woodward’s a bit dim, Hughes thought, not for the first time. Deep Throat did not have to get to his specific copy of the Times. He just had to get his hands on a copy of the Times before 7 a.m. and leave it outside Woodward’s door. In American society, such work is often given to children. They are called “paperboys.” Or “paper carriers.” Or “newsies” by those with a taste for archaism.

Hughes had been a paperboy once, long ago. He knew the things that paperboys know.