Archive for ‘Bill Moyers’

February 19, 2009

J. Edgar Hoover, Bill Moyers and LBJ’s homophobic witch-hunt

Is the headline fair? Hey, it was fun to write:

[B]ack in 1964, [Jack] Valenti was a Houston ad executive newly installed at the White House as a top aide to President Lyndon B. Johnson. And J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI found itself quietly consumed with the vexing question of whether Valenti was gay.
Previously confidential FBI files show that Hoover’s deputies set out to determine whether Valenti . . . maintained a relationship with a male commercial photographer. . . .
Bill Moyers, a White House aide now best known as a liberal television commentator, is described in the records as seeking information on the sexual preferences of White House staff members. Moyers said by e-mail yesterday that his memory is unclear after so many years but that he may have been simply looking for details of allegations first brought to the president by Hoover. . . .

We distort. You decide.

January 10, 2009

Glenn Greenwald’s convenient memory

Talking about Bill Moyers:

Moyers worked in Lyndon Johnson’s White House when Johnson escalated the Vietnam War, and was Johnson’s Press Secretary for much of that time (from 1965-1967). His views of bombing campaigns of civilian populations are undoubtedly shaped by that experience.

Funny you should mention “bombing,” Glenn. Moyers was the slimy hatchetman who made the Vietnam disaster possible, with the infamous “Daisy” ad. Documents from the Johnson archives clearly establish Moyers’ responsibility for one of the most dishonest libels in the history of American politics, and Moyers pronounced the ad “wonderful.”

Remember the context: The Johnson campaign of 1964, in which Moyers played a key role, smeared Goldwater as a reckless warmonger and portrayed LBJ as a man of peace, even as Johnson was planning the “escalation” in Vietnam.

Moyers lied, 58,000 died.

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers. Also linked by Frog March at LGF. Thanks.

UPDATE II: An anonymous commenter attempts some revisionism on behalf of Moyers. You forget that I’ve lived in the DC area for years, and have heard hours and hours of C-SPAN Radio’s broadcasts of the LBJ White House tapes, which make abundantly clear what kind of ass-kissing toady Moyers was.

It is worthwhile to contrast Moyers’ conduct with with that of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who quit the White House in 1965 rather than continue working for Johnson, whereas Moyers stayed until 1967. It is not as if LBJ were a historical cipher. He was an arrogant bully, domineering and manipulative, and Moyers was “his boy.” Moynihan refused to be LBJ’s boy.

Moyers (like certain members of more recent administrations) has labored diligently to depict his own White House as all honor and glory. If, four decades from now, Michael Gerson is widely celebrated as an eminence grise of journalism, perhaps Bill Moyers will be owed an apology. But not before.