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The columnist was a commie

If you're one of those chronic malcontents who think your taxes go to support idle, do-nothing Hoover bureaucracies, take heart in a story on the FBI posted at CBS.com. For 18 years and 239 pages of investigative reports, the G-men tirelessly tracked the subversive activities of humor columnist Art Buchwald. The Bureau's conclusion: Buchwald was a “sick, alleged humorist." Which, it seems, did not violate any federal statute, since he was never charged with anything.

CBS producer Daniel Carty wrote the story after obtaining Buchwald's FBI file, which is full of summaries of Buchwald columns and interviews, including one he did with Playboy magazine. ("Typical trash," the investigating agent sternly noted.) The FBI started looking into Buchwald in 1956 after learning he had traveled to the Soviet Union -- to attend an air show with a delegation of U.S. Air Force officials, it turned out -- and stuck with it because his columns didn't strike Hoover as very funny.  “Let me have summary on Art Buchwald,” the director wrote on a clipping of a 1961 Buchwald column that satirically claimed claimed American conservatives were doing such damage to the cause of anti-communism that they must be part of a Soviet plot.

If Carty's story puts Hoover and the FBI in an unflattering light, they have plenty of company -- including the television networks. Among the memos in the file is one relaying a request from an ABC reporter (the name is blacked out) who was hosting a poker game in his Washington home and wanted Hoover to call there and threaten Buchwald with arrest in order to disrupt his play.

The other group that doesn't exactly come off great is the American public. After Buchwald wrote a column speculating that Hoover was merely a fictional character dreamed up by Reader's Digest and named after a vacuum cleaner, the FBI was swamped by letters asking if Hoover really existed. Yes, Virginia...


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J.Edgar Hoover, that cross-dresser, really existed?
Sure he/she/it did. Just wasn't quite sure what his/her/its sexual orientation was but whatever she/he/it did, most of it was more subversive than the KGB, SS, NKVD, and Tonton Macou combined ever accomplished. It/she/he was far more dangerous than Tail-gunner Joe. Just covering his/her/its own butt from exposure was a full-time occupation so making certain that everyone else was nervous about being investigated, maligned, and subject to innuendo was the best way to draw attention elsewhere. Wonder what the Christian Right thinks about having a large building named after a deviant?


We don't like it. And we don't like the fact that another subversive named Deep Throat lingered there for decades too.

Chew on that sucker

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