Thursday, December 01, 2005

Bill Moyers Unmasked By Novak

A former press secretary to President Lyndon B. Johnson and noted liberal PBS commentator Bill Moyers has been unmasked by none other than our favorite columnist to poke fun at, Robert Novak.

In his column today, Novak recounts a speech the conservative Judge Lawrence Silberman delivered to a D.C. group recently. Silberman told the group how former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover had “allowed—even offered—the bureau to be used by politicians for nakedly political purposes.” Silberman’s reason for offering these details about Hoover was to urge the removal of his name from the FBI’s headquarters in D.C., which Novak reported did not go over well with the mostly conservative Washington Club group.

Silberman recounts the time when Johnson’s top political aide, Walter Jenkins, was arrested in 1964 at a YMCA near the White House one evening for having sex with another man in the bathroom. Johnson, according to the account, asked Bill Moyers to contact Hoover to find similar conduct on someone who worked for his Republican opponent Barry Goldwater. The request was made to Silberman, who made a note of it in an FBI file which recently surfaced.

Novak writes, “An ‘outraged’ Moyers telephoned Silberman, he said, to assert that the memo was ‘phony.’ ‘Taken aback,’ said Silberman, he offered an investigation to exonerate Moyers. ''There was a pause on the line, and then he [Moyers] said, 'I was very young. How will I explain this to my children?”

The revelation is quite interesting since Moyers has been so quick to judge every Republican president’s transgressions as impeachable offenses, pretending that Johnson did no wrong. In fact, Johnson was probably the most corrupt president in the history of our country, and Bill Moyers was a willing accomplice in his "high crimes and misdemeanors."

As a side note to this revelation, the Johnson Library released a tape recorded conversation of Johnson and Hoover in the Oval Office discussing Walter Jenkins the day after his arrest. There is a hilarious moment on the tape where Johnson asks Hoover with words to the effect, “Edgar, how can you tell if someone is a homosexual?” Johnson most assuredly knew that Hoover was a closeted homosexual himself when he asked the question. Hoover responded with words to the effect that it wasn’t always easy to tell; sometimes you can tell “by the way the talk or the way they walk.” Hoover’s brows were no doubt beading with sweat as he pondered whether Johnson knew the truth about him.

One of Johnson’s favorite quotes is the reason he offered for not firing Hoover as FBI Director. Johnson replied, “Because I would rather have him on the inside pissing out than on the outside pissing in.”

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