Felt had come to an
interim decision: he would "cooperate," but only with the assistance of
Bob Woodward. Acceding to his wishes, Joan and I spoke to Woodward by
phone on a half-dozen occasions over a period of months about whether
to make a joint revelation, possibly in the form of a book or an
article. Woodward would sometimes begin these conversations with a
caveat, saying, more or less, "Just because I'm talking to you, I'm not
admitting that he is who you think he is." Then he'd express his chief
concerns, which were twofold, as I recall. First, was this something
that Joan and I were pushing on Felt, or did he actually want to reveal
himself of his own accord? (I interpreted this to mean: was he changing
the long-standing agreement the men had kept for three decades?)
Second, was Felt actually in a clear mental state? To make his own
assessment, Woodward told Joan and me, he wanted to come out and sit
down with her father again, not having seen him since their lunch.
went through a period where he did call a bit," Joan says of her
discussions with Woodward. (Nick says he sometimes answered the phone
and spoke with him, too.) "He's always been very gracious. We talked
about doing a book with Dad, and I think he was considering. That was
my understanding. He didn't say no at first.... Then he kept kind of
putting me off on this book, saying, 'Joan, don't press me.' … For him
the issue was competency: was Dad competent to release him from the
agreement the two of them had made not to say anything until after Dad
And here's a transcript from a recent show when King confused Newsweek's Michael Iskikoff for Time magazine's Michael Weisskopf. (Okay, the two names kind of sound alike. They both end in "cough.')
KING: How are you doing physically?
ISIKOFF: I'm doing fine.
KING: Well, you lost what...
ISIKOFF: Why do you ask?
KING: Because you were injured.
ISIKOFF: No, no, no. I'm sorry. You're thinking of my -- of Michael Weisskopf [of] Time magazine."
So if nothing else, it's worth watching tonight to see who's sharper -- the aging talkmaster or the ancient whistleblower.