Richard Gilder and Lewis Lehrman: Interviewed on C-SPAN

HISTORY ARTICLES

HISTORY, NEWS & POLITICS

HNN, 6-28-05

Richard Gilder and Lewis Lehrman: Interviewed on C-SPAN

By Bonnie Goodman

Ms. Goodman is a graduate student at Concordia University and an Assistant Editor at HNN.

Richard Gilder and Lewis Lehrman said on C-Span’s “Q&A” that they welcomed the recent press coverage concerning the liberal accusation that as Republicans they are pushing forth a conservative ideological agenda through their involvement with the New-York Historical Society, and specifically, last fall’s Alexander Hamilton exhibit. “Frankly, I didn’t mind any of the publicity, because the New-York Historical Society has been sort of a back number” was Gilder’s comment. “You know,” he continued, “it’s right next to the American Museum of Natural History, that has millions of visitors a year. I’m a trustee there too, so I know the numbers.” Later on he added: “You want to come at it and say, ‘Well, ours is a great story of communism,’ fine. As Arthur Schlesinger [a member of their advisory board] said, the only way you can overcome a bad idea is with a good idea. So, we’ll have lots more controversy, discussion. We’ll bet on the great American story.” In an interview on June 26, 2005 on the C-Span program “Q&A,” hosted by Brian Lamb, Gilder and Lehrman, the co-founders of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, discussed topics ranging from their first meeting, to the founding of the institute in New York in 1994, and its various programs that promote the study of American History. Gilder dominated the interview. Despite recent controversy the interview however, was rather tame, friendly, and nostalgic.

Highlights of the interview included their personal anecdotes about their meeting, reminisces of studying at Yale, and their family backgrounds. Gilder and Lehrman were perhaps most comfortable and relaxed discussing these issues, and enjoyed especially reminiscing about Yale. Gilder described their meeting as eventually leading to “the beginning of just a great friendship.” Lehrman emphasized his patriotic roots “And I can tell a story about my grandfather that I think is – tells the kind of background I – that I did come from – a patriotic, unselfconscious, unapologetic American commitment…. I was thinking of making a European trip to see all about European culture. My grandfather was scandalized. What would you ever want to do going to Europe? I mean, everything is here in America. This is the new Jerusalem. This is a place that has everything that you need and everything that you can see.” While Gilder spoke fondly of Yale “I was just brought up by my father to love Yale. I mean, he never said a word – that I had to apply or should apply. But, you know, in class of ’25, he was a bit of an outsider, being a Jewish guy, in those days. Although there were still good number, but nothing like as many as when I was there – maybe eight percent, nine, percent when I was there. But he loved the place.”

Gilder, who comes from a Jewish family that emigrated to the U.S. in the 1830s, bears more of the financial burden of the institute. Lehrman, whose family were East European Jewish immigrants who arrived in the 1880s, apparently takes a more active role in designing the institute’s strategy. In a friendly way they poked fun at their ancestral differences. Lehrman chided Gilder that ” unlike Dick’s well-heeled Bohemian immigrants, mine were penniless.” Gilder retorted that ” I was a legacy [at Yale] …. Lew had to work to get in.”

When Lamb asked about the controversial Alexander Hamilton exhibit, he was direct without being aggressive: “The criticism that I read, that you two wanted to engineer a – the Hamilton exhibit for purposes to further your own political beliefs because Hamilton represents you more, say, than some of the other people in history. Start with that. What’s your reaction when you read that criticism?” Responding, Gilder and Lehrman, apparently a little uncomfortable, frequently began using hand motions while speaking. Lehrman avoided Lamb’s initial question by just discussing Hamilton’s important place in history and Gilder justified their decision: “we believe that, first, the New-York Historical Society, being established in 1804, Alexander Hamilton having been killed in a duel in 1804, and the New -York Historical Society inaugurating its 200th anniversary, it was perfect.”

Lamb then questioned, “Why is it that college professors are allowed to say and write anything they want to about history, but when somebody like you gets into it, there’s automatic criticism for your particular views?” Gilder said, “I can’t answer the question, because it’s a tough – I hate any tough questions, you know that.” In response to a question about the institute’s alleged rightward bias, Gilder pointed out that the advisory board included “lots of folks on all sides of the political spectrum, probably more left than right.” And Lehrman clarified that if scholars funded by the institute have “a point of view which is different from mine or different from Dick’s, as David Brion Davis, the historian and professor of history said, ‘Not a single person in the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History programs has ever received either a direct or an indirect influence from either of us.’ “

The remaining portion of the C-Span interview discussed the various programs at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, basic information about the institute, the collection, endowments, especially educational initiatives such as their history high school and American History Teaching programs. The interview focused on the institute’s budget, and the awards and prizes, including the history of the Lincoln Prize based at Gettysburg College, the Douglass prize and the newly inaugurated Washington Prize.

Lamb, wanting to liven up the interview, asked about the possibility of dissidents in the institute’s programs, specifically the history high school initiative: “But do you run into the possibility that a teacher says, out in a high school, ‘I don’t need Gilder Lehrman to tell me how to teach history?’ ” Lehrman responded, “I think I have received two or three letters in the entire history of our programs where there have been objections to the way that we’ve gone about it.”

Lamb returned several times to the Hamilton controversy, hoping to coax more opinions from his interviewees. Both Gilder and Lehrman, however, remained cool and focused on what they viewed as the important issues: the institute and its accomplishments in promoting American history. Lamb at ont point asked if there was some connection between the fact that Ron Chernow, the admiring biographer of Hamilton, won “your new Washington Prize from Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, $50,000.” “What would you both say to the cynics watching saying, “Well of course these two guys would like Alexander Hamilton or Henry Clay or Abraham Lincoln because they both have really done very well in this system and they’re able, now, just to push through history their basic thoughts of it.” Lehrman coolly responded, that “they set the example for us. I mean, Lincoln, in – he sets the example for us.”

In the concluding remarks of a rather uncontroversial interview Lamb wanted Gilder and Lehrman to point out the favorite aspects of their work. For Lehrman it was purely academic; “whenever I teach the subject, for example, the Hamiltonian-Jeffersonian conflicts of the 1790s, General Washington’s – President Washington’s first presidency – whenever I’m teaching the subject, I find it inspiring.” While for Gilder it was the business aspect; “Well, right now, I’m wildly excited about the combination of the Gilder and Lehrman Institute and the New-York Historical Society. We have two different missions, but both focused on history. And Lew and I are working now, very hard, on the Historical Society, because Jim and Lesley and our team at GLI have done such a dandy job. There our job is to get out of the way, whereas here, our job is to get in the way. I like to get in the way.”

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Q & A: How did the Present Alternative Minimum Tax come into Existence?

HISTORY ARTICLES

HISTORY, NEWS & POLITICS

HNN, 6-20-05

How did the Present Alternative Minimum Tax come into Existence?

By Bonnie Goodman

Ms. Goodman is a graduate student at Concordia University and an Assistant Editor at HNN.

Why are more and more people having to pay the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)? And what is it? This controversial tax was enacted as part of the Tax Reform Act of 1969 to target the rich. But because the rates were not adjusted for inflation, it now targets not only the rich but also the middle class, and there seems to be no end to the problems its causes. The New York Times reported that “by 2010, nearly 30 million taxpayers will be hit — among them, a staggering 94 percent of married filers who have children and make $75,000 to $100,000.” The Alternative Minimum Tax was designed as a parallel tax system to the federal income tax and checks it to ensure that that the people in higher tax bracket don’t evade paying any taxes through loopholes.

With the AMT most tax deductions are disallowed. In 1969 the minimum tax was a 10 percent flat rate. Over the years the AMT has evolved to also include a corporate AMT; with each tax reform effort from the Carter to Clinton Administration the AMT has increased. As of the latest revision, which was passed in 1993, there is a two tier system: 26 percent and 28 percent for individuals. Here is a look back through media reports and presidential and congressional messages about the origins of the AMT in the Johnson and Nixon Administrations and its subsequent revisions in the Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton Administrations.

President Lyndon Johnson and the Origins of the AMT

The story of the AMT begins with the Vietnam War. The government needed to secure additional funds to finance the war which in 1968 and 1969 was at its peak. According to Sheldon D. Pollack in The Failure of U.S. Tax Policy: Revenue and Politics, the need for new revenues led the executive branch “to embrace a conception of ‘tax reform’ consisting in closing revenue ‘leaks’ and reversing the ‘erosion’ of the tax base concomitant to the many preferences that had crept into the tax code.” In his administration’s last month in office President Lyndon Johnson named Joseph Barr treasury secretary. Both Barr and Assistent Secretary of the Treasury Stanley S. Surrey instigated the proposals to tighten the tax loopholes that eventually led to the creation of the AMT.

Surrey made the Johnson Administration aware of the growing economic cost tax preferences were having on the nation’s finances, coining the term “tax expenditures.” Surrey spent his years as assistant secretary compiling reports about the true nature and reality of tax expenditures in the country. This work culminated in the first tax expenditure budget, which included a complete list of major loopholes in the tax code, and identified the impact they had on the government and economy.

In August 1969 as he was preparing the next year’s budget Barr warned that the country faced a taxpayers’ revolt. He explained, according to the Washington Post, that in 1967 there were a total of 155 individuals with incomes over $200,000 who did not pay any federal income taxes; twenty of them were millionaires. These individuals successfully used all tax loopholes available to legally evade paying taxes. The revelation attracted wide media attention and led to public shock. As he presented the next annual budget, published in the final weeks of his administration, President Johnson indicated that the problem needed to be addressed, but not by him:

We believe that in justice to the next Administration that will take office within the next month and will have to live with and administer any legislation passed, it is only appropriate that they have the opportunity to examine carefully and make their judgments to these matters.

Several possible solutions were discussed at the time including, according to anonymous sources with the House Ways and Means Committee run by Wilbur Mills, “the establishment of some sort of minimum tax on persons with large incomes who escape all taxation at present because their income is entirely from sources that receive preferred tax treatment, such as oil wells or municipal bonds.” (“Tax Law changes Sought by Mills,” NYT, January 1, 1969)

The Nixon Administration and the Tax Reform Act of 1969

As a result of the Surrey tax expenditures budget and Barr’s revelations the Nixon Administration inherited from its predecessor a tax reform issue that needed to be dealth with. The media gave extensive coverage to the tax debate. The Washington Post reported on February 8, 1969, in a story headlined, “Bid to Tax Untaxed Hinted by Treasury”:

The Nixon Administration hinted broadly yesterday that it will seek to make the rich–or least some of them to pay more taxes. “I think the American People are saying something and the message is getting through,” a Treasury spokesman said, claiming that congressmen are getting a large volume of mail protesting the fact that some wealthy individuals escape income taxation altogether.

In April 1969 the Nixon Administration presented its proposal for tax reform to Congress. The measure was accompanied by this message:

Reform of our Federal income tax is long overdue. Special preferences in the law permit far too many Americans to pay less than their fair share of taxes. Too many other Americans bear too much of this tax burden. . . . We must reform our tax structure to make it more equitable and efficient; we must redirect our tax policy to make it more conducive to stable economic growth and responsive to urgent social needs. Much concern has been expressed because some citizens with incomes of more than $200,000 pay no federal income taxes. These people are neither tax dodgers or tax cheats. Many of them pay no taxes because they make large donations to worthy causes donations that every taxpayer is authorized by existing law to deduct from his income in figuring his tax bill. But where we can prevent it by law, we must not permit our wealthiest citizens to be 100 percent successful at tax avoidance. Nor should the Government limit its tax reform only to apply to these relatively few extreme cases.(NYT, April 22, 1969)

After Nixon made his proposal, the House Ways and Means Committee took up the legislation. According to Rowland Evans Jr. and Robert D. Novak (Nixon in the White House: The Frustration of Power), Chairman Wilbur Mills “did not conceive of tax reform as a device to increase revenue. His idea was that by ending special tax advantages, tax rates for run-of-the-mill taxpayers could be lowered.”

In late April the committee began holding hearings on the Nixon proposals for tax reform. According to the NYT, the first week of hearings focused on “the so-called minimum tax”:

The levy aims to foil wealthy people who arrange their affairs to escape taxation under the present law and everyone seems to think that’s a good idea. A formula devised by Prof. Stanley S. Surrey, tax counsel to the Treasury, “would have the effect of placing a 50 percent ceiling on the amount of an individual’s income that could enjoy tax-exempt status,” according to the 291 page reform study prepared for President Johnson and left by him as a farewell gift to the incoming administration. (NYT, April 28, 1969)

The final legislation increased revenues and closed loopholes and tax prefernces.

1978 Reforms

The Alternative Minimum Tax that Americans are now grappling with was introduced in its present format as a result of tax reform in 1978. While the Congress rejected many of President Jimmy Carter’s proposals, Congress did choose to approve tax cuts geared toward upper-income groups; these included cuts in capital gains and corporate taxes. The final legislation, the Revenue Act of 1978, featured $18.7 billion in tax cuts. The bill formally transformed the minimum tax devised in 1969 into the “Alternative Minimum Tax” and increased the percentage in taxes that individuals would be required to pay. Media reports indicated that the reductions in capital gains taxes would be offset by increases in the AMT. (Washington Post, August 3, 1978)

Ronald Reagan and the 1982 Tax Reform

In 1982 tax reform was again an issue as was the challenge of reducing an exploding budget deficit caused by the dramatic tax cuts of 1981 and increased spending for the military. Congress rejected the Reagan administration’s belief in supply side economics. The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Bob Dole, a fiscal conservative, did not believe that reducing taxes could lead to increased revenue. Sen. Dole therefore taxes and tariffs by $105 billion over the next two years. President Reagan supported just $31.7 billion in tax increases for the same period. On the Senate floor Dole candidly defended tax hikes:

The roots of this evening’s debate actually go back to February [1982], when the President [ Reagan] released a budget calling for deficits in excess of $700 billion over the next 3 years. Those deficits were unacceptable by any criteria. Do we want to reduce the deficit, do we want to continue the downward trend of interest rates, or do we want to signal to the financial markets and the people in our States that we really do not care, that we really have not quite enough courage to take this step, because some tax might affect someone in our constituency?

The media seized on Dole’s statement. A headline in the Washington Post declared: “Republicans Eye Bigger Tax Increase” (March 11, 1982) The story noted:

Dole listed a number of tax changes which he has already publicly endorsed or signaled support for. These include an Alternative Minimum Tax for corporations and individuals, raising $4 billion in 1983 and $8 billion in 1984. Wealthy individuals who pay little or no tax would be required to add back all deductions, take a $50,000 exemption, and then pay a tax set at 15 percent of the remaining income.

The tax reform efforts resulted in the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982, which included revenue enhancement methods including the creation of a minimum corporate tax.

Deficit Reduction Act of 1984

Despite the tax increases of 1982, the deficit continued to grow and again became a hot issue when the 1984 budget was being drafted. Once again Dole took the lead in proposing higher taxes. But in November 1983 the Senate approved a tax bill that fell short of the fresh taxes that Sen. Dole had originally called for. But in March 1984 the House Ways and Means Committee approved $49.3 billion in tax increases, which were to go into effect gradually over four years. The main elements of the committee’s proposals were later signed by President Reagan. The bill was an effort by both chambers of Congress to reduce the federal budget deficit. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan also made a proposal to increase the Alternative Minimum Tax and raise $1.2 billion in revenues. His proposal, according to the NYT account publ;ished on March 2, 1984, broadened the “deductions affected by including losses claimed by taxpayers from investments made with the aim of reducing taxes.”

The resulting Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 included significant income tax provisions.

The 1986 Tax Reform Act

In 1986 Congress approved a major reform of the tax code proposed by President Reagan, Sen. Bill Bradley and others. Once again the Alternative Minimum Tax was included in the final tax package. In addition, Congress approved a Corporate Alternative Minimum Tax.

Years later investigative journalists Barlett and Steele, writing in the Philadelphia Inquirer (October 1991), revealed that the AMT of 1986 actually reduced taxes on the wealthy:

When Congress enacted the Tax Reform Act of 1986, lawmakers hailed its alternative minimum tax provision as the most stringent ever, guaranteeing that nobody would ever escape paying at least some tax . . . [But] passage of “the toughest minimum tax ever’ resulted in a 75 per cent drop in the number of people who paid the tax, and a 90 per cent drop in the amount they paid. On average, a millionaire in 1986 paid an alternative minimum tax of $116,395. Three years later, a millionaire paid $54,758. That amounted to a 53 per cent tax cut.

1990 Tax Increase

After years of ever steeper budget deficits and a prediction by OMB director Richard Darman that the next budget deficit could reach $231 billion, Congress and the first President Bush in 1991 decided finally to stem the tide of red ink. The bill finally agreed to both Copngress and President Bush provided for $40 billion in new taxes in 1991 and $500 billion in new taxes over five years. The AMT was raised were 21 percent to 23 percent.

Revenue Reconciliation Act of 1993

The final major tax legislation of the twentieth century was approved in 1993 at the behest of the Clinton administration. On August 5, 1993 the House passed the bill by 218 to 216. The next day on August 6, after weeks of compromise, the Senate approveed the bill on a strict party-line vote. Not one Republican voted for the measure. It passed when Vice President Al Gore in his position as President of the Senate cast the deciding vote.

The measaure included yet another increase in the AMT, this time to 26 percent for people who earned between $100,000 and $175,000, and 28 percent for those who earned above $175,000.

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Deep Throat Revealed: Historians’ Comments

HISTORY ARTICLES

HISTORY, NEWS & POLITICS

HNN, 6-03-05

Deep Throat Revealed: Historians’ Comments

By Bonnie Goodman

Ms. Goodman is a graduate student at Concordia University and an Assistant Editor at HNN.

This past week it was revealed that W. Mark Felt, the second in command at the F.B.I. during the Nixon Administrstion, admitted in a Vanity Fair magazine interview that he was “Deep Throat,” the insider source who relayed top secret information about the Watergate coverup to Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. HNN surveyed major media to see how historians reacted to the news. Text reprinted below was copied straight from news accounts.

Richard Norton Smith, Historian, former Director of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum and Executive Director of the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill.

• “It’s been replaced by a new Washington game, which is, what were Deep Throat’s motives?”
• “He seems pretty conflicted over the years about what he did. In some ways, that’s the most honorable thing about what he did: He didn’t think he was a hero.”

Gleaves Whitney, Director of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University

• Whitney “noted some have speculated Deep Throat was a composite or a “literary device” Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein created as cover for a variety of sources.”
• “It is odd that the second-most-important law enforcement officer in the United States would go to the media rather than to a prosecutor. I need more information before I pronounce him a hero or a villain.”

Robert Dallek, Presidential Historian now working on a book about Nixon and Henry A. Kissinger

• “There was a powerful feeling of cynicism and skepticism about the government. There was a kind of pot that was brewing with all these unpleasant doubts and questions.”
• “He was able to put them on the trail of the truth to find out just exactly what was going on in this scandal.”
• “If this was a vendetta, then that would devalue what he did. But people never operate strictly out of one motive or another. He was clearly offended by the constitutional breaches that had occurred, but he was probably fueled by a certain amount of resentment at the politicization of the FBI.”

Keith W. Olson, Professor of History, University of Maryland, author of “Watergate: the Scandal that Shook America”

• “Revelation of Deep Throat’s identity generated massive media attention with further reflections still to come. Much of the interest stems from the fact that the mystery of his identity lasted more than thirty years. Mark Felt’s acknowledgment that he was Deep Throat belongs in the context of the series of Watergate crises that included the Saturday Night Massacre, the 18 and 1/2 minute gap on one tape, the TIME magazine call for Nixon to resign, the publication of the transcripts of the tapes, the House Judiciary Committee passage of articles of impeachment, the Supreme Court ruling, the resignation, and the Ford pardon. In this broad context Deep Throat’s identity would have had far less impact than it produced in 2005.”
•”A second thought concerns Felt’s motive, or more accurately motives, a subject that will continue to stimulate interest. Like FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, Felt wanted to maintain FBI autonomy. Gray’s appointment and performance plus Hoover’s opposition to the Nixon-sponsored Huston Plan the summer of 1970 are factors that provide a fuller context regarding Felt’s motivations.”

Joan Hoff, Professor of History Montana State University, Bozeman, an expert on the Watergate scandal

• Hoff believes the identification of Deep Throat is part of “an orchestrated publicity stunt on the part of the Post and Woodward” because Woodward plans to publish his own book on Felt. “Lo and behold,” Felt’s family decides he’s Deep Throat and Felt can’t say whether he is or not, and we get the big story.”
• “It’s conceivable that as the second in command at the FBI, the deputy director, he could have gotten information from somebody about this,” she said. “But I don’t think he gave them this information. I think it was somebody in the White House. At that point, the White House was so embattled over the tapes and the possible subpoena [of them], there were only 3 or 4 people who had access to those tapes.”
• “He is the top law enforcement officer in the country because there’s only an acting director [of the FBI] at that point. Why didn’t he go to Sirica or a grand jury and blow the story open?”
• Hoff predicts that the story will rebound to the discredit of Woodward. It’s another flashy story, she concedes, “but I think they made a mistake in choosing Felt.”

Athan Theoharis, a Historian at Milwaukee’s Marquette University who has written extensively on the FBI

• “Here you have the White House seeking information that would have political value to the White House from the FBI that had nothing to do with law enforcement. So there was a very legitimate reason for senior FBI officials to be concerned about the Nixon White House and the impact of its policies on the independence and integrity of the agency itself.”
• The No. 2 man at the bureau was no doubt uncomfortable with his role, Prof. Theoharis said. But he said Mr. Felt had two motivations, “one principled and one bureaucratic.” Mr. Felt saw first-hand how the Nixon White House was using the Central Intelligence Agency and its own appointee at the bureau to obstruct the investigation into its links to the Watergate burglars, Prof. Theoharis said.

W. Michael Weis, Illinois Wesleyan University History Professor

• “One thing that this does underscore for me is that there are always a lot of people close to an administration, but not actually in the administration, who probably know a lot more about what’s really going on than they’re willing to admit. But not many of them are willing to come forward and do what Deep Throat did.”
• “While it was seen as a victory for open government and democracy at the time, I believe that Watergate taught the people who want to engage in these illegal activities how to be better at it. They learned from the mistakes that were made by those involved in Watergate. Consequently, when the Iran-Contra scandal breaks in the late 1980s, you have people spending days and days shredding and burning documents and cleaning out hard drives.”
• “In the immediate aftermath of Watergate, we had a chance to curb the power of government and to enact reforms that would make it impossible to deceive the American people. And we didn’t do it.”
• “If democracy is going to prevail, then citizens have to know what’s going on in the government; citizens have to understand why decisions are made and how they’re made. Today, we know less than ever before.”

Joseph Coohill, Penn State New Kensington History Professor

• Coohill said that while the finding is important, people should remember that former FBI official W. Mark Felt was not the sole reason for President Nixon’s resignation. He said media coverage of Felt’s role in the Watergate scandal has been exaggerated.
• “It definitely solves an intriguing puzzle in American history. But to call him a hero is overstating it.”
• “People using this opportunity to look back at Watergate should give equal, if not more, credit to Nixon’s personal counsel John Dean and the reporters who pressured the investigation of White House activities, Coohill said.”
• “There was a whole galaxy of things going on in bringing down (Nixon).”

David Kilroy, Wheeling Jesuit University Associate Professor of History

• But it was no surprise to Kilroy that “Deep Throat” worked at the FBI. He says he doubted it was anyone in the White House. Originally, “Deep Throat” was thought of as a traitor, but throughout the years, the perception of his role in history has changed, prompting his children to persuade him to come forward with his identity.
• Kilroy says the Watergate scandal and Deep Throat made a huge impact on the field of journalism, but also on our country as a whole. The incident also showed the importance of an independent media, and the consequences of not checking the power of the executive branch.

Don Ritchie, Senate Assistant Historian

• “Hallelujah!” Ritchie recalled saying yesterday.
• Ritchie’s new book, “Reporting from Washington: The History of the Washington Press Corps,” has just come out and on page 233, Ritchie makes it plain that he believed Felt was the storied source. “I was greatly relieved that my account of Deep Throat turned out to be right,” he said.
• Ritchie sensed a divide among Capitol Hill staff members along age lines. “Those under 30 were puzzled by why anyone would care,” he said, noting that those older than 30 all seemed to take great note of the story.

Sanford Ungar, President of Goucher College on PBS

• “That book was published 29 years ago and it’s fascinating to look back now and see that Mark Felt, when I knew him for a period of time, spent several intense sessions with him talking to him, was a very opportunistic person who thought still he had a chance to become director of the FBI, and I think he may have done the right thing for the wrong motive or at least for partially the wrong motive at the time.”
• “I did not know that Mark Felt was Deep Throat. I was led off track by the fact that — as I remember this — that Deep Throat had to be a smoker. And Mark Felt did not smoke when I was with him.”
• “And I found a hard time imagining him as a smoker because he was such a dapper, meticulous person, that I couldn’t imagine him getting ash on his suit or being willing to smell like a cigarette. That was — that’s where I went wrong.”

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