BERNSTEIN, Carl & WOODWARD, Bob
All the President’s Men
Deep Throat stamped his foot. 'A conspiracy like this...a conspiracy investigation...the rope has to tighten slowly around everyone's neck. You build convincingly from the outer edges in, you get ten times the evidence you need against the Hunts and the Liddys. They feel hopelessly finished - they may not talk right away, but the grip is on them. Then you move up and do the same thing at the next level. If you shoot too high and miss, the everyone feels more secure. Lawyers work this way. I'm sure smart reporters must, too. You've put the investigation back months. It puts everyone on the defensive - editors, FBI agents, everybody has to go into a crouch after this.
Woodward swallowed hard. He deserved the lecture.
BERNSTEIN: “I’ll read you the first few paragraphs.” (He got as far as the third. Mitchell responded, “JEEEEEEEEESUS” every few words.) MITCHELL: “All that crap, you’re putting it in the paper? It’s all been denied. Katie Graham’s gonna get her tit caught in a big fat wringer if that’s published. Good Christ! That’s the most sickening thing I ever heard.” BERNSTEIN: “Sir, I’d like to ask you a few questions about—” MITCHELL: “What time is it?” BERNSTEIN: “Eleven thirty. I’m sorry to call so late.” MITCHELL: “Eleven thirty. Eleven thirty when?” BERNSTEIN: “Eleven thirty at night.” MITCHELL: “Oh.” BERNSTEIN: “The committee has issued a statement about the story, but I’d like to ask you a few questions about the specifics of what the story contains.” MITCHELL: “Did the committee tell you to go ahead and publish that story? You fellows got a great ballgame going. As soon as you’re through paying Ed Williams* and the rest of those fellows, we’re going to do a story on all of you.