J. Edgar Hoover’s Legacy Lives On

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If anyone is qualitifed to speak about the FBI investigating journalists, it’s NPR’s Daniel Schorr. If you don’t recall, Schorr was investigated by J. Edgar Hoover — an action which ultimately was listed as one of the reasons to impeach President Richard Nixon. The FBI is trying to access the files of recently deceased Pulitzer Prize winning Jack Anderson. According to Schorr, democratic Senator Patrick Leahy alleges that the motivation of the FBI is to protect information about Hoover’s personal life. From Schorr:

We in the press hoped that the FBI would learn from that experience and refrain from doing political chores. But now it seems that the FBI is back investigating what it has no business investigating. […]

So there we are. I can identify with Jack Anderson, with whom I shared an honored place on the Nixon enemies list. But I have a more immediate concern. I don’t want the Feds poking around in my files after I die. Not that they contain any great revelations. Everything I learned that was of possible interest, I reported.

It’s just the principle of the thing.

So, with Kevin Anderson, I say to the FBI, “Why don’t you go and find some terrorists and leave the files of deceased journalists alone?”

To be quite honest, I don’t that I’d like to know any more than I already do about Hoover’s personal life. I do know that this “enemies list” mentality has to stop.

Graphic Source: Library of Congress

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