FBI Squeezed Deep Throat
Obscenity probe marked the end of FBI efforts against turning cultural tide
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2009 6:11 AM CDT
Protesters picket the theater where the film "Deep Throat" is being shown in May, 1980.    (AP Photo/Dave Pickoff)
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(Newser) – The FBI made a huge effort to stop the spread of '70s porn hit Deep Throat, documents newly released to the AP reveal. Top agents and field offices in almost every major city were involved in the probe, in which negatives were analyzed, copies of the film seized, and interviews conducted with everybody involved in the film—from star Linda Lovelace to messengers who delivered film reels.

The files show that the obscenity probe reached the highest levels of the agency, including then second-in-command Mark Felt—alias "Deep Throat." The massive and ultimately unsuccessful effort marked the end of an era of government attempts to clamp down on an increasingly permissive culture. "It may seem odd that the government was spending so much effort on something like this," one law professor said. "But attitudes back then were much different."