By Kaylee Brewster
“Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House” tells the story of the man better known as the FBI whistleblower “Deep Throat” during the Watergate scandal. What is less known are his ties to Moscow and the state of Idaho.
Felt was born in Twin Falls and graduated from the University of Idaho in 1935. After attending law school at George Washington University, he became an FBI agent and went on to become associate director of the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover.
During the Watergate scandal and investigation, Felt anonymously leaked details to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, becoming the man known as “Deep Throat.” Felt’s identity as the whistleblower was not publicly known until 2005, just three years before his death.
Details of his life during the Watergate investigation are now depicted in a film released in 2017 featuring Liam Neeson as Felt. Although other films have centered on the Watergate scandal, “Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House” focuses on Felt as he investigates the White House and the president, without being discovered as the one leaking information to the press.
Anyone looking for an onscreen connection to the UI won’t find one. The film mostly features men talking in hushed voices in dark corners. It emphasizes the risk Felt took as well as the seriousness of the Watergate scandal and cover up. Felt frequently states that no one should be allowed to tell the FBI what to do, who to investigate, who not to investigate and when to stop. Believing the integrity of the FBI is being compromised, and wanting justice to be served in one way or another, he turns to The Washington Post, letting the American people know the truth.
A free showing of the film will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Kenworthy Performing Arts Center. After the showing, a panel will discuss some of the issues presented in the film, such as the dilemma of whistleblowers and the challenges of reporting on powerful institutions. Panelists include Glenn Mosley and Kenton Bird of the UI School of Journalism and Mass Media; Ben James, UI English Department; and Susan Ross, Washington State University English Department.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Showing and panel discussion of “Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House”
WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday (door opens at 6:15 p.m. for students, 6:45 p.m. for general public)
WHERE: Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre, 508 S. Main St., Moscow