A Matter of Interpretation

There was a fascinating Wall Street Journal piece last week by Laurence Silberman about some recently declassified FBI files from the 60s, and what they revealed about various misuse of the bureau by various presidents, especially Lyndon Johnson.
In the piece is this section, which I had to read a few times in order to understand it. It concerns Bill Moyers, the LBJ aide-turned-PBS host, and a conversation he had with Silberman in 1964. Take a look:

Only a few weeks before the 1964 election, a powerful presidential assistant, Walter Jenkins, was arrested in a men’s room in Washington. Evidently, the president was concerned that Barry Goldwater would use that against him in the election. Another assistant, Bill Moyers, was tasked to direct Hoover to do an investigation of Goldwater’s staff to find similar evidence of homosexual activity. Mr. Moyers’ memo to the FBI was in one of the files.
When the press reported this, I received a call in my office from Mr. Moyers. Several of my assistants were with me. He was outraged; he claimed that this was another example of the Bureau salting its files with phony CIA memos. I was taken aback. I offered to conduct an investigation, which if his contention was correct, would lead me to publicly exonerate him. There was a pause on the line and then he said, “I was very young. How will I explain this to my children?” And then he rang off. I thought to myself that a number of the Watergate figures, some of whom the department was prosecuting, were very young, too.

My question: is the author implying that Moyers had misused the FBI, or that Moyers was homosexual? ‘Cause blogs have interpreted it both ways.

1 thought on “A Matter of Interpretation

  1. DBrooks

    I read it to mean that Moyers is a sanctimonious hypocrite who is as up-to-his-neck in political shenanigans(both legal and illegal)as most of the people he has denigrated the last 40 years.


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