J. Edgar Hoover's FBI investigated late movie-lobby chief Jack Valenti for homosexuality, the Washington Post reports. Interesting. But what about evidence ernest PBS liberal Bill Moyers requested similar probes?
A newly-released cache of FBI documents reveals the bureau investigated Valenti following a bizarre 1964 tip from a caller who "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 Valenti had a reputation as a ladies man, so case closed.
It's harder to draw conclusions about the host of Bill Moyers Journal. The same FBI documents show Moyers, as a special assistant to President Lyndon Baines Johnson, requested the bureau "investigate two other administration figures who were 'suspected as having homosexual tendencies.'" An FBI official later discussed that request with Johnson, which seems odd given that Moyers told the Post the FBI might have sparked the investigation:
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.
Moyers is 74. People will probably forgive him trying to protect a pro-civil-rights president against then-lethal associations with gays. It will be harder for them to understand how he can keep working as a journalist if he can't even remember such behavior.