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:
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.
“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.