Bill Moyers (born 1934) was an intimate adviser to President Lyndon Johnson while the decision was made to commit U.S. forces to the Vietnam War ultimately resulting in the deaths of 58,282 U.S. troops and 2 million Vietnamese, and leaving hundreds of thousands of survivors permanently maimed or injured.
Dirty tricks and civil rights violations
Two weeks before the 1964 presidential election Johnson instructed Bill Moyers to transmit an order to the FBI to run checks on numerous members of Goldwater's campaign and Senate staffs in an effort to obtain derogatory information about their possible sexual aberrations. What Johnson was looking for, Moyers told the FBI, was information about "fags" on Goldwater's staff.
Moyer's blind sycophantic loyalty and willingness to engage in illegal activity and dirty tricks for President Johnson earned him the reputation among White House peers as the president's "hit man", an "@$&-kisser", and the nickname "Elmer Gantry." Moyer's hyperbolic and demagogic style is remembered in the Daisy girl ad which he takes credit for. A lttle girl is incinerated by a hydrogen bomb. The commercials were reviewed and approved by Abe Fortas and Clark Clifford on behalf of the President. Even Johnson supporters were revolted when they were broadcast. As a result of various protests the Democrats stopped showing the commercials.
Moyers has remained employed off-and-on (with stints at CBS and NBC as a news commentator in between) for more than four decades by the public-sector funded Corporation for Public Broadcasting, an entity created during the Johnson administration by a Democrat-controlled Congress. He is a liberal journalist and once hosted PBS's show Bill Moyers' Journal, a forum for attack on Republicans and conservatism which espouses envy as a popular virtue. He became an ordained Baptist minister almost 50 years ago. Moyers has a lot of liberal political views, such as democratic socialism and now claims support for gay rights.
- 20 Years After Victory, Vietnamese Communists Ponder How to Celebrate, The New York Times
- Eric F. Goldman, The Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson, Dell, 1969, p. 299