Thursday, February 19, 2009
The Washington Post reports back in 1964, J. Edgar “Maggie” Hoover’s FBI found itself quietly consumed with the burning question of whether Beltway insider Jack Valenti was gay. But did the liberal PBS darling, Bill Moyers, request similar probes?
A newly-released cache of FBI documents reveals the bureau investigated the matter following a bizarre 1964 tip from a caller who claimed Valenti “read in the newspapers that Valenti swims in the nude in the White House pool.” The investigation found Valenti was friends with a gay photographer in Houston, leading to rumors he himself was gay. The bureau found no proof of this and the case was closed.
It’s harder to draw conclusions about PBS sacred cow and the host of Bill Moyers Journal.
The same FBI documents show Moyers, then a special assistant to President Lyndon Baines Johnson, requested the bureau “investigate two other administration figures who were ‘suspected as having homosexual tendencies.'”
Moyers told the Post via e-mail 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.
At the ripe old age of 74, Bill Moyers, will probably be forgiven by his fans for trying to protect a pro-civil rights president against a then-lethal associations with gays. However, it might be harder for them to understand such a selective memory as Moyers continues to work as a journalist even if he can’t remember his own homophobic behavior.