When word broke recently that Deep Throat at last had been identified, I was overjoyed. It wasn't the long-held identity that thrilled me, simply that he was a real, live person.
If not for him, the Watergate investigation might not have advanced far enough for Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein to have written All the President's Men, and without that book, I would have given up long ago.
When I was a young reporter, I reread that book every so often to boost my spirits. Much of its drama unreeled as the two young reporters for The Washington Post ran into dead ends, neglected to ask crucial questions and missed clues they should have picked up.
When they got off course, they were steered back onto the path by a top FBI official referred to as Deep Throat.
Their mistakes made it easier for me to survive similar problems when I was covering stories. If Woodward and Bernstein made these mistakes and still got the story, I would tell myself, then I can, too. That realization made me dig deeper, push harder, make the extra effort.
All the President's Men became a guidebook for me, although the stories I covered were not as massive as theirs. I was struggling against City Hall, not the White House. I was faced with corrupt school officials, not a president who broke the law to ensure his re-election. My contacts were the folks at the courthouse, the cops on the beat, petty criminals on the run from drug lords.
It was, and is, that way all across the nation. And I'd wager some reporters today are still learning from the mistakes of a couple of guys who lucked onto the biggest scandal in the nation's history.
AS WE LEFT THE MOVIE theater the other day, I told my wife that the rest of the world should be praising the United States, not trying to bury it. After all, we have given them Star Wars.
We entertain the world. American movies, TV shows, art and books are disseminated worldwide, taking education, entertainment and joy to millions.
I'm not saying Star Wars is high art, but it does provide a couple of hours of escapism, drama, humor and action. It showcases what artists can do with computers as their tools. And it has created its own mythology system, just as involved as that of the Norse or Greeks.
Mostly, it's just fun - an epic about another time and galaxy where the ultimate in confrontation is to go at each other with fancy swords. It makes you wonder how different our own galaxy would be if disagreements could be settled by this up-close-and-personal style of fighting instead of by bombs and bullets.
If we used our entertainment industry as our official spokesman around the world, maybe more people would be content to ponder the battle of good and evil as it pertains to the Skywalker clan and have less time to blow up our real world.
WHILE WE'RE ON THE subject of entertainment, I'm really ticked off at the TV networks for canceling more of my favorite programs.
There seems to be no method to the networks' madness.
Even shows that have been on for years have gotten yanked off the schedule, to be replaced by some unknown quantities. I don't want to have to start liking new programs; I liked the old ones.
The characters I was accustomed to watching did not march out in honor; they were caught in TV limbo, with no resolution to their lives. Enough! I say.
I think Congress should impose martial law on Hollywood and enforce the following edict: If a network chooses to cancel a series, it must air one final episode - as soon as it can be filmed - that wraps up all the subplots and gives the characters some closure. This would be an official U.S. television law, punishable by lightsaber.
Reach Glynn Moore at (706) 823-3419 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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