Daniel Schorr, who just passed away, performed a valuable service to Nixon buffs by discovering that Deep Throat never really said “follow the money.” While writing one of his NPR commentaries years ago, he wanted to find out where it appeared in the book version of All the President’s Men. William Safire once recounted what happened then:
Schorr searched for the phrase in the journalists’ book. It wasn’t there. Nor was it in any of the Watergate reporting in the Washington Post. Follow the money first appeared in the movie ”All the President’s Men,” spoken by Hal Holbrook playing Deep Throat.
The screenplay was written by William Goldman. When Schorr called him, the famed screenwriter at first insisted that the line came from the book; when proved mistaken about that, he said: ”I can’t believe I made it up. I was in constant contact with Woodward while writing the screenplay. I guess he made it up.”
Schorr then called Woodward, who could not find the phrase in his exhaustive notes of Watergate interviews. The reporter told Schorr he could no longer rely on his memory as to whether Deep Throat had said the line and was inclined to believe that Goldman had invented it. (Woodward, now in the forefront of those journalists pursuing the Asian-influence scandal, confirmed that to me one recent Sunday morning as we bolted down the tasty brunch NBC offers guests on ”Meet the Press.”)
”Whoever said that inspired line,” Schorr told Los Angeles Times readers, ”which has entered the political and journalistic lexicon, it was an invention.”