Readers respond to the unmasking of Deep Throat and weigh in on whether Rush Limbaugh matters.

By Salon Staff
Published June 2, 2005 8:00AM (EDT)

[Read "Restoring the Imperial Presidency," by Bruce Shapiro, and "Deep Throat Revealed," by Daniel Ellsberg, David Daley, Adrian Havill and others.]

FBI agent W. Mark Felt did the right thing more than 30 years ago when he leaked information that brought down a corrupt president. Some people will say that what he did was unethical, but that depends on where your loyalties are. We are a nation of the people, by the people and for the people. The first duty of all government employees is to the people, and not to the government or its institutions. It is the duty of all officials to reveal corruption and to protect the integrity of America.

Would something like this happen today? Unfortunately not. Today we have a level of corruption that far exceeds anything that was going on when Nixon was president. Today people put the government ahead of the people. Even if they did leak corruption, the corporate press would never print it. And under the USA PATRIOT Act, what Nixon did would probably be legal. Nonetheless, I want to thank Mark Felt for being loyal to the people of this great country.

-- Marc Perkel

Perhaps most telling of all is that Deep Throat turned out not to be any of the politicos working inside the White House. They, like Felt, knew what was going on, but they instead chose their own hides over the nation's, then justified their cowardice as loyalty.

-- Adam Nadler

OK, so now we know who he is. Stop spending so much time on the past. There are too many important things happening today.

Giving any more time to Mr. Felt is just another distraction from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the neocon push to take down the U.S. Constitution.

The media, including Salon, need to get their priorities straight.

-- Monroe Pastermack

The right wing of the Republican Party devours its own and pays scant attention to honor, honesty and integrity, and has attacked Felt for what he did some 30 years ago. According to NPR, Pat Buchanan called Felt a traitor, while others voiced scorn for his actions. Don't these people know that what is most important to democracy is accountability and the idea that no person is above the law?

Perhaps it will take reinstitution of the draft or some other means to draw the conflict of Iraq and amoral work of the Bush administration into full focus. But we can safely say that the same media that held Nixon accountable lacks the guts and moral rectitude to do their job now.

-- James Buchanan

Bruce Shapiro asks: Where is this administration's Deep Throat? But a number of administration sources have come forward with damaging information.

The real question is, where are this generation's Woodward and Bernstein?

-- Paul Nations

[Read "Rush Limbaugh's Tortured Logic," by Valerie Kaur.]

I've just finished your article about the Harvard student's Abu Ghraib play and Rush Limbaugh. I'd like to welcome that student's father to reality. Hope you enjoy your stay, sir.

Having said that, what is it with conservatives that they can understand the feelings of others only when they are personally, directly affected? (See also Nancy Reagan and stem cell research, Dick Cheney and homosexuality, and so on.) This student's father has just noticed that Rush is a hateful bullshitter -- and only because his daughter got stepped on this time.

I guess we can only hope that eventually Rush will alienate all of his listeners, one by one. Damn. Wake the hell up, folks.

-- Noam Sane

Limbaugh isn't deriding Kaur's play because he misses the point. He's deriding it because he understands completely. The last thing the lunatic fringe wants is for the people in Abu Ghraib, Guantánamo, or Bhagram Air Base to be humanized. Once people start identifying with the detainees, they'll start asking embarrassing questions about what these people may actually be guilty of. In too many cases it's nothing.

-- John Leonard

Limbaugh's job is to sell stuff. Neither he nor Bill O' Reilly is a political philosopher. For what they do, it wasn't necessary to see the play. The point was to get their target audience agitated about those crazy, unpatriotic liberals and keep the ratings up. Being a "fan" of such idiocy is bad enough; taking it seriously is even worse.

-- James Miller

It's clear from even a few minutes of listening to Rush Limbaugh's disjointed rants that the man doesn't believe a word he says. He's no different than magician David Copperfield or actor Pauly Shore -- Limbaugh has found a lucrative shtick, and he's shticking to it, laughing all the way to the bank.

What gives Rush away entirely is the fact that he argues profusely with those who call up to offer a few moments of hero worship. Even when talking to people who agree with everything Limbaugh says, he cannot agree.

Rush Limbaugh has made millions of dollars in the same way Larry Flynt has made his fortune. Good for him. But holding up Rush Limbaugh as a voice we must joust with on a serious basis is ridiculous. It's like taking Elmer Fudd to task for his psychotic pursuit of that Wascally Wabbit. Limbaugh has made a career out of chasing his tail, which possibly accounts for the back injury that led to his drug addiction.

-- Matt St. Amand

Salon Staff

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