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The Reporting of Deep Throat's Outing

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Reaction across the U.S.

A Washington Post news story today called Mark Felt (search) the "romantic truth teller half-hidden in the shadows of a Washington area parking garage."

Dan Rather (search) says Felt helped stop "widespread criminal conspiracy, led by the president of the United States."

And the left-leaning National Initiative for Democracy (search) says Felt should receive the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.

Remarkable praise for a J. Edgar Hoover loyalist who was convicted, though later pardoned, of authorizing illegal break-ins on friends and relatives of the militant anti-war group the Weather Underground.

As for Felt himself, he told Slate.com's Timothy Noah (search) several years ago that if he were Deep Throat it would be "terrible," insisting, "This would completely undermine the reputation that you might have as a loyal, logical employee of the FBI. It just wouldn't fit at all."

Iranian Take on It?

Meanwhile, this is how Iranian TV reported Felt's outing: "Today, it has become clear that [Richard] Nixon's dispute with Israel and the Zionist lobby was among the main causes for his downfall. In fact, the reporters who exposed the Watergate affair ... and blew it out of proportion were Zionists, recruited to the ranks of the Zionist lobby. By using the media as its tool, Zionism tried to get one of its main opponents out of the way."

Says Who?

Newspapers and politicians alike said today that the disclosure of Deep Throat's identity is a reminder of the importance of anonymous sources. A new study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs (search) indicates that the use of anonymous sources is actually on the decline.

During the first year of Ronald Reagan's presidency in 1981, the study says, 24 percent of sources on TV newscasts and in newspapers were anonymous, compared with 16 percent during the first year of George W. Bush's presidency in 2001. In addition, the study shows that newspapers were more likely to use anonymous sources than TV newscasts.

Selective Memory?

Amnesty International is refusing to back down from its report calling Guantanamo Bay (search) the — "gulag of our times." In an interview with The Washington Times, the director of Amnesty International accuses U.S. officials of having a selective memory, insisting, "The Bush administration has regularly relied on Amnesty International when it pleases them. ... So if we are such a left-leaning group, why did Donald Rumsfeld rely upon our reports in the run-up to the Iraq war and why is the administration more than happy to cite Amnesty reports on countries such as Cuba, China and North Korea?"

As for the use of the word "gulag," he said he would expend "no energy" to defend it.

— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report

With more than 35 years of journalism experience to draw from, Brit Hume currently serves as a senior political analyst for FOX News Channel (FNC) and contributes to all major political coverage. Hume also is regular panelist on FOX's weekly public affairs program, "FOX News Sunday" on Sundays at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET. Click here for more information on Brit Hume