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If it weren’t for his Power of Myth series where he introduced Joseph Campbell to a broader audience, Bill Moyers would have contributed little to our national discourse.Â He has otherwise dedicated his career almost exclusively to destroying Republicans.
It’s too bad that despite his deep affection for Campbell and his work, Moyers all but ignored that great mythologist’s politics.Â Campbell was a Republican and, as I understand, a pretty conservative one at that.
A true investigative reporter who regularly denounces conservatives might want to explore more deeply how his hero’s lifetime study of mythology did not shake his conservative political convictions.
In his White House days, working for then-Democratic President Lyndon Johnson, Moyers was more curious about the sexuality of some of his coworkers:
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.
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.
Isn’t using the FBI to dig up dirt on political opponents kind of similar to what Nixon did in Watergate?Â There’s even a memo in the FBI files.
Oh, and this story about Moyers’ snooping around for evidence of gay people in the Goldwater camp came out in July of 2005.Â For three-and-one-half years, the leading gay organizations have been silent on the matter while this onetime practioner of outing prattles away on national TV.
I daresay they’d have reacted differently if Moyers were a former Nixon aide with a show on FoxNews.
Moyers is among the most sanctimonious individuals on television (quite a feat, given the competition). He presents himself as a champion of good government, an intrepid voice for integrity and honesty, ever on the lookout for people who would degrade our public discourse or act in a dishonorable manner. That’s why this revelation â€” Moyers seeking information on the sexual preferences of White House staff members â€” is particularly notable. And I suspect his excuse, that his â€œmemory is unclear after so many years,â€ probably wouldn’t persuade Moyers himself, if the person in question were, say, a conservative.
Noting this “for the record,” Ed Morrissey offers,Â “When Moyers sounds off on alleged Republican bigotry, perhaps this will serve as a useful reminder that Moyers can hardly cast the first stone.“Â Exactly.
Interesting how a story about a liberal pundit’s investigations into the sexuality of coworkers and political rivals primarily draws the attention of conservative bloggers. And gay bloggers seem more interested in the story than do the organizations ostensibly representing our peers.
The more we learn about Bill Moyers, the more we see how much his political affiliation defined his life. He would do anything to destroy a rival politician, even root around to see if that man had gay staffers, seeking to use those staffers’ sexuality against their Republican employer.
Let us hope this latest revelation reminds people of that broadcaster’s bias. At least Moyers had the sense not to hold one Republican’s politics against him. For it is largely thanks to Bill Moyers that people are familiar today with Joseph Campbell. And the power of myth.