Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Summers' Time

For a disrespected writer, accused of slipshod use of evidence by the Washington Post, Anthony Summers is having considerable influence on how the personal lives of our Cold War leaders will be remembered.

In 2000, he accused Richard Nixon of domestic abuse against his first lady. A principal source had waited many years to get his questionable charges into print. Summers was his man. Now a new book by Donald Fulsom repeats the domestic abuse allegations. He quotes or cites Summers nearly 50 times. We'll have to wait until its publication in late January to learn if he adds anything to Summer's claims.

Anticipating Fulsom's allegations about Richard Nixon and his friend Bebe Rebozo, U.S. News recently noted that sex stories were being told about Nixon as they earlier were about the FBI's J. Edgar Hoover. Britain's Daily Mail, publicizing the Fulsom book, also notes the Nixon-Hoover coincidence, since the film "J. Edgar," in which the actor playing Hoover dons his mother's dress and jewelry, opens in London next month, when the book is published.

What neither account mentions is that the most explosive allegations about Hoover -- that he engaged in cross-dressing at gay orgies -- were also made by Summers in 1993, also based on statements by a person who'd been waiting years for someone credulous enough to roll the presses. Almost all historians now repudiate Summers' Hoover allegations, according to Jeff Stein at the Washington Post:

“Too good to check!” reporters sometimes joke when they hear a story so fantastic they fear checking it out, lest it turn out untrue.

Likewise, the public seems determined to cling to the story that J. Edgar Hoover, the piranha-jawed director of the FBI for over 40 years, liked to par-tay in a cocktail dress, fishnet stockings, full makeup and a wig.

No matter that it’s almost certainly untrue, based as it is on a single discredited source, according to almost every historian of the FBI, including the G-man’s fiercest critics.

As with Nixon's alleged battering, a source only Anthony Summers was naughty enough to use. Don't get me wrong. I have almost nothing to say in defense of Hoover -- and that's just based on what's true.


DJC said...

Thank you for responding to this hideous lie currently marketed to a credulous American public who seemingly want nothing more than to further sully a man whom many of us regard as one of the best presidents this generation will ever see. I was only 11 when I learned of watergate and was employed delivering the daily newspapers heralding the torturous events as they unfolded week by week. And it broke my heart to watch President Nixon and his shattered family saying their farewells to the staff at the White house. But Richard Nixon comported himself with dignity and grace as did his wife and daughters.

I watched the Movie Frost Nixon and it reawakened an interest in me for the man. I started to read everything I could lay my hands on about the man, whether it was written by friends or foes. I collected every bit of information I could find. I listened to many of the tapes, I read the presidential daily diary. Nothing that I read or heard has led me to believe the lies being spoken today in the new book by Don Fulsom. They are indeed old information recycled from Anthony Summers and Fawn Body's books. As to the unnamed Time reporter who made claims of hand holding, does anyone know that Nixon gave orders (this is on tape)  to Ron Ziegler that reporters from Time magazine were not to be allowed in the white house? It seems to me this "unnamed reporter" is striking against Nixon with lies as retribution for not getting access to the white house.  Hell hath no fury like a reporter scorned! I am a nobody, and even I have experienced how reporters tailor the facts to tell the story they want to tell! Nixon was right about this. 
Today I weep as Richard Nixon's name is further slandered by unscrupulous men and I pray that you who knew the man, the only people whose opinions I respect, will defend the truth about his life, just as those who understood Lincoln best defended President Lincoln when his life was similarly slandered. They said of themselves " We are Lincoln men" They stood between their President and the lies that evil men promoted. I pray that Richard Nixon can count on his friends to do the same! - Donna Christensen

DJC said...

Now we hear that Anthony Summers has admitted just this last week that neither he nor his co-author had ever found evidence to support any contention that President Nixon was homosexual. It's time these people, these "Journalists"  be held accountable for the defamatory suggestions they place before a credulous public whose short attention span doesn't lend itself to critical discernment between that which is fact and what, on the other hand, is salacious, baseless innuendo. 

DJC said...

As to hand holding. There is a picture online that one can easily find, as well as video that shows President Nixon absent-mindedly holding Roy Acuffs hand after Roy attempted to show Nixon how to hold and use a yo-yo. I'm pretty sure President Nixon and Roy Acuff were indeed, just friends. As a politician, Richard Nixon was no doubt adept at taking people by the hand, for introductions, hand shaking, for friendly contact. There is a clip on YOUTUBE that showcases Richard Nixon greeting Bowling Tournament winners. In this clip, President Nixon shakes, and then proceeds to hold the hand of the championship winning FEMALE bowler for about 6 seconds. I think there were more than a few journalists during Richard Nixon's administration, who harbored ill will toward the man, and were ready to read into, whatever he did, duplicitous or underhanded motivations.
it's appalling and very telling what petty journalistic minds in that day have wrought upon President Nixon's legacy at present.  The more one looks at Nixon's detractors, the more you see evidence of unfair and prejudicial comments aimed at the man, and the "death by thousand cuts" that President Nixon truly faced during his administration and beyond. -Donna Christensen

Fr. John said...

Thanks for your comments.

As for Summers, I suspect that he and Fulsom are holding hands under the table. Please bear in mind that the most damaging claims in both books is that Mr. Nixon harmed his beloved wife and put her in the hospital. Summers' book got little if any traction with serious scholars. Now Fulsom has given him a boost with nearly 50 quotations and citations and has reprised the wife-beating charge.

By casting doubt on the Nixon-Rebozo sideshow, Summers is trying to burnish his credentials as a Nixon authority and, he hopes, weasel "Arrogance Of Power" into the mainstream Nixon canon. In fact, it doesn't matter what Summers says.

DJC said...

I agree Mr. Taylor, Though the "side show" is the powder keg that will feed public consideration for the other more heinous allegations he repeats in his book. I pray he reaps the whirlwind for sowing seeds of deceit and slander. I know from his website on which he now blocks the printed material in anticipation of his books release that he ignored facts and comments that were counter to the tale he wished to tell. I hope authentic Journlists and Historians stand up for integrity and relegate his efforts to the waste bin reserved for biased tabloid rags and literary character defamation. -Donna Christensen

DJC said...

Daniel Schorr, never a Nixon devotee, can be seen on YouTube bewailing the lack of journalistic integrity in recent literary and media treatment of Richard Nixon, and he addresses the most heinous attacks on President Nixon there as baseless and improper. Sadly he is no longer with us.

caspersans said...

Pat Nixon was Fiercely protective of her husband, this was particularly apparent during Watergate. I can't believe any of the lies advanced in the articles proliferating the web today, especially the lie about the domestic abuse. I'm sure those who knew both Mr. and Mrs. Nixon will refute the terrible smears of Don Fulsoms new book.
Too bad they can't get an advance copy and refute these lies one by one before anyone feels compelled to hand over their hard earned money for this tabloid trash.