‘Follow the money’: Why the made-up Watergate line endures

Media Myth Alert

Watergate’s most famous made-up line — “follow the money” — is impressively versatile and doggedly persistent, some 35 years after it was written into a screenplay.

It’s a phrase that has resonance internationally. It’s made its way onto the sports pages and into publications on topics as diverse as secondary education and systems analysis.

And yesterday, the CBS business news site BNET invoked the passage in a post discussing a recent report of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.

The reference to “follow the money” appeared at the end of BNET, as if it were an attempt at a witty ending:

“As Deep Throat said about the Watergate investigation, ‘follow the money.'”

But “follow the money” is really more clichéd than witty.

More important, it was a line not spoken by the stealthy “Deep Throat” source (see photo, above) of the Washington Post

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