longreads:

A former research assistant for Bob Woodward is hired to help Ben Bradlee work on another book, and discovers that the former Washington Post managing editor still has unresolved questions from the Watergate era:

Later in the interview, Ben talked about Bob’s famous secret source, whom he claimed to have met in an underground garage in rendezvous arranged via signals involving flowerpots and newspapers. ‘You know I have a little problem with Deep Throat,’ Ben told Barbara.

‘Did that potted [plant] incident ever happen? … and meeting in some garage. One meeting in the garage? Fifty meetings in the garage? I don’t know how many meetings in the garage … There’s a residual fear in my soul that that isn’t quite straight.’

I read it over a few times to make sure. Did Ben really have doubts about the Deep Throat story, as it had been passed down from newsroom to book to film to history?

“The Red Flag in the Flowerpot.” — Jeff Himmelman, New York magazine

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