Saturday, January 10, 2009

Glenn Greenwald's convenient memory

Talking about Bill Moyers:
Moyers worked in Lyndon Johnson's White House when Johnson escalated the Vietnam War, and was Johnson's Press Secretary for much of that time (from 1965-1967). His views of bombing campaigns of civilian populations are undoubtedly shaped by that experience.
Funny you should mention "bombing," Glenn. Moyers was the slimy hatchetman who made the Vietnam disaster possible, with the infamous "Daisy" ad. Documents from the Johnson archives clearly establish Moyers' responsibility for one of the most dishonest libels in the history of American politics, and Moyers pronounced the ad "wonderful."

Remember the context: The Johnson campaign of 1964, in which Moyers played a key role, smeared Goldwater as a reckless warmonger and portrayed LBJ as a man of peace, even as Johnson was planning the "escalation" in Vietnam.

Moyers lied, 58,000 died.

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers. Also linked by Frog March at LGF. Thanks.

UPDATE II: An anonymous commenter attempts some revisionism on behalf of Moyers. You forget that I've lived in the DC area for years, and have heard hours and hours of C-SPAN Radio's broadcasts of the LBJ White House tapes, which make abundantly clear what kind of ass-kissing toady Moyers was.

It is worthwhile to contrast Moyers' conduct with with that of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who quit the White House in 1965 rather than continue working for Johnson, whereas Moyers stayed until 1967. It is not as if LBJ were a historical cipher. He was an arrogant bully, domineering and manipulative, and Moyers was "his boy." Moynihan refused to be LBJ's boy.

Moyers (like certain members of more recent administrations) has labored diligently to depict his own White House as all honor and glory. If, four decades from now, Michael Gerson is widely celebrated as an eminence grise of journalism, perhaps Bill Moyers will be owed an apology. But not before.


  1. If you had actually read the documents you link to you'd see that Moyers expressed concern with negative ads generally and the daisy ad in particular.

    Further, Moyers was a critic of the war, green lighting McNamara's "Montreal speech" in 1966 (angering the President), raising the profile of critics within the administration and facilitating communication between them. All of this was of detriment to his position in the White House.

    Finally, all of this leaves aside the valid question of Goldwater's judgment where nuclear weapons were concerned. He'd proposed using them to deforest Vietnam, after all, hardly a position indicative of a propensity for responsible stewardship.

  2. Bill Moyers is a swine. Period.

    His rehabilitation was allowed simply because he understood the media better than, say, Sarah Palin or George Bush, who forgot that there is a memory hole only for the Left.

    Goldwater was the only candidate who was telling the truth the American people in 1964. Moyers and LBJ were systematically lying to them. America's fall from grace dates from that campaign. Of course, it arose again under Reagan, thankfully.

    Greenwald should be run out of town on a rail for his shallow, mendacious revisionism.

  3. I notice the LBJ online archives have a "search" option. Can anybody direct me to a section of audio that includes LBJ's views on young hack/hatchetman Bill Moyers?