The mystery of Deep Throat’s identity may soon be solved. Noted American investigator William Gaines is putting out a book in June -the 30th anniversary of the famous Watergate break-in, which led to the downfall of President Nixon – in which he promises the name of Woodward and Bernstein’s anonymous informant will be revealed. The book is the result of several years investigative work by a team of researchers at the University of Illinois, where Gaines, a former Chicago Tribune reporter and Pulitzer prize winner, is a now a professor.
Speculation has ranged from Alexander Haig, Nixon’s former chief of staff, to top officials at the FBI. So who is Deep Throat? For the moment Gaines is not saying, but he does say it may come as a shock. Deep Throat, he hints, is a middle-level White House official.
"It’s not anybody a lot of people know", he warns.
The top 10 stories of 2001? Little doubt that the terror attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon top the list.
But some of the others depend on which editors you ask, and where the survey was conducted. The Associated Press surveyed editors and journalists all over the world. Editors in 24 countries agreed the terrorist attacks were No 1. Then came the American anthrax scare; renewed violence in the Middle East; the election of George Bush; the arrest and trial of Slobodan Milosevic and China’s admission to the World Trade Organisation. Among American editors the top stories included higher gas prices; the release of a US air crew by China; the building of an anti-terror coalition and the Gary Condit/Chandra Levy story.
Beijing editors of the China Daily added the embryo cloning controversy, the rising tension between India and Pakistan and the royal massacre in Nepal.
More kudos for the American version of Maxim. It’s rated No 1 on the annual Hot List of Adweek. The beer and babes mag has become the leader among non-nude men’s titles, with a circulation of well over 2,000,000 – way ahead of such stalwarts as Esquire, Men’s Health and GQ. Others on this year’s list: Teen People, Vanity Fair, ESPN Magazine, InStyle, Martha Stewart’s Living, Cooking Light, Marie Claire, YM and Good Housekeeping.
A new way of attracting advertisers is being tried by the Philadelphia Daily News.
It’s now running obits of pets. For the equivalent of £40, pet lovers can say a final farewell – complete with a picture and a few lines of type – to their beloved cat, dog or any other pet. A nine-year-old West Highland terrier called Winnie was the first to be featured. The pet obits will run once a month – or more frequently, says the paper’s ad manager, if demand calls for it.
One of the after-effects of the World Trade Center attacks has been the advent on US television of "the crawl" – a running line of typed-out news at the bottom of the screen similar to the news bulletins that run around buildings in Piccadilly and Times Square. Although it is mostly the all-news networks and stations that, six months later, still use the crawl, many viewers are beginning to complain. They say it is hard to listen and read at the same time. Journalists, too, are becoming critical – especially when the news is of only local importance, such as one recently that read: US MINT IN PHILADELPHIA TO CLOSE FOR A MONTH.