A recent article in the Washington Post by Joe Stephens chronicles the relationship between J. Edgar Hoover and Paul Harvey. Much of the details come from hundreds of pages of FBI files that were released in response to a FOIA request. Here is a link to the CBS News reprint of the post article.
While this could be just an curious story of two interesting people who became friends, it strikes me as significant that one of them represented the U.S. intelligence community, and the other represented the Mainstream Media. Below are some excerpts that are particularly interesting:
Harvey tried to be of service beyond the FBI as well, writing in 1956 to Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who had made a name for himself by hunting down alleged Communists in the federal bureaucracy, with tips about “known Reds” at a Texas Air Force base. A senior FBI official added a handwritten notation to ensure that Harvey’s letter not be distributed outside the bureau’s top brass: “No dissemination since identity of Harvey cannot be revealed.”
Why not reveal the identity of Harvey?
Mutual Admiration . . .
And so began a friendship that continued until Hoover’s death in 1972. In the years that followed, Hoover autographed a photo for Harvey, who in turn devoted entire shows to Hoover’s heroism and mailed Hoover copies of his commercial recordings on LPs.
Neither man was restrained in his praise of the other. “You were never in better form,” Hoover gushed to Harvey about one of his broadcasts in May 1958, and again, in precisely the same words, in February 1959.
Crazy Communist Fighter
In April 1952, Rep. Fred Busbey, an Illinois Republican and longtime friend of Harvey’s, asked the FBI if he could bring the broadcaster by to thank Hoover. “You will recall that Harvey has a history of mental instability,” said an FBI memo analyzing the request, adding that Harvey appeared to be rehabilitated and was now “very effectively anti-Communist.”
Hoover Receives Advance Copy of Harvey Show . . .
A 1957 letter to Harvey from FBI Assistant Director Louis Nichols notes, “For a number of years, you have been kind enough to send me your daily copy.”
Previously confidential files show that Harvey, who died last February at 90, enjoyed a 20-year friendship with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, often submitting advance copies of his radio script for comment and approval.
For those that question the Mainstream Media’s integrity, Paul Harvey’s relationship with Hoover, and his anti-communism message, sure screams manipulation and propaganda puppeteering. But that would never happen in the United States now would it? See Operation Mockingbird.