Thursday, February 19, 2009

Retro Garlic: J. Edgars Gay Dating Service?

Maybe he wasn't building dossiers for the purpose of being evil and nefarious, to blackmail and embarrass people, ruin their careers.

Perhaps J. Edgar Hoover was a pioneer, wanting to get out of the FBI, and his own closet, and was setting about to launch the first Gay Dating Service.

Naw!

He was just a first-class prick.

From today's Washington Post;

Valenti's Sexuality Was Topic For FBI ... Under Pressure, LBJ Let Hoover's Agents Investigate Top Aide

Valenti was a successful Texas businessman before joining Johnson in the White House in the hours after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. After three years in Washington, Valenti was named head of the Motion Picture Association, where he served as Hollywood's chief lobbyist from 1966 to 2004. His tanned face became a fixture on the annual Academy Awards broadcast.

The FBI file shows that a routine background check performed when Valenti joined the Johnson administration in 1963 turned up a series of picayune concerns. The file noted that Valenti's father and father-in-law had spent time in prison for embezzlement, and that his father-in-law had an "undesirable credit record" and had once been arrested for "being drunk."

[Snip]

One informant told agents that when Valenti was a bachelor, "he always dated extremely attractive women" and that "his only trouble with his female acquaintances was 'they all wanted to marry him.' "

[Snip]

Nothing discovered during the background check was solid enough to endanger Valenti's position as a special assistant to the president.

Then, in October 1964, a man whose name has been redacted from the records called an FBI official in New York. The caller encouraged the FBI to investigate Valenti "as a sex pervert," files show. "He based this request on the fact that he had read in the newspapers that Valenti swims in the nude in the White House pool."

[Snip]

The agents learned that Valenti was a frequent party host in Houston, and the photographer often attended. An FBI memo dated Nov. 12, 1964, stated that the photographer "has the reputation of being a homosexual." The photographer and "Valenti have allegedly been having an affair for a number of years," the memo said.

Six days later, Hoover reported the allegations to the president. Johnson spoke to Hoover lieutenant Cartha D. DeLoach and asserted that "Valenti was all right; however, his judgment was faulty inasmuch as he felt Jenkins had been all right," files show.

DeLoach advised Johnson to have Valenti submit a sworn affidavit regarding his association with "this homosexual." Johnson demurred, saying Valenti had no need to defend himself.

The Retro Part;

Movie Industry Titan, and LBJ Lackey, Rolls His Final Credits - Jack Valenti Obit

Too bad Valenti wasn't around.

I would love to see him on, say, The Situation Room, with Wolf Blitzer grilling him, watching that tanned face become Day-Glo red, as he harumphed around the questions, or, perhaps more to Valenti's style, he, more likely, would have thrown Gay Hollywood under the bus.

Valenti wouldn't have been able to run fast enough to all the cable shows, shouting how "Jack Valenti es muy macho!"

After all, as Wikipedia noted, "Valenti was so loyal to Johnson that it was once said of him "If LBJ dropped the H-bomb, Valenti would call it an urban renewal project."

The article also "outted" (pun intended) legendary journalist Bill Moyers, as, perhaps, an LBJ gay hunter?
Even 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.
Hmmm ...

To bad Hoover didn't wait a few years.

He could have held off, for when Valenti went out to Hollywood, before springing the file on him.

The cost to keep it on the QT?

Just give Hoover an armful of all those delicious dresses worn by those big screen starlets, for the FBI director to prance around in.

And, just what was the point of the Washington Post coming out with this article now, nearly 50-years after-the-fact?

Seems a bit conspicuous, a few days before the big Academy Awards Oscar bash, no?

Maybe throwing a bone (boner?) to the pro-Prop 8 crowd, a reminder how sinful Hollywood, California is?


Bonus "Mary Hoover" Riffs

Jesse Walker: Jack Valenti's R-Rated White House Waterplay: A Sign of Secret Gay Hi-Jinks? Your FBI Is On the Case!

TowleRoad: PAPER: FBI Targeted Former MPAA Pres Valenti in Gay Witch Hunt

Ryan Tate: Is PBS Harboring the Man Who Led the Jack Valenti Homo Hunt?

Andrew Sullivan: Quote For The Day

Robert Stein: A Dip in 50-Year-Old Dung

History of Gay Bars in New York City: Our Sister J. Edgar Hoover


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