J Edgar Hoover was the first director of the American Federal Bureau of Investigation and held the position from 1924 to 1972. In his 48-year reign of terror, the old motherfucker used illegal wiretapping to dig up dirt on many public figures in an effort to discredit and control them. This is undisputed, and yet there are still idiots on the internet proclaiming Hoover a great American public servant. True, he is credited with developing such crime-solving techniques as fingerprinting and forensics, but his real innovation was blackmail. What a horrible, mean, vicious, ugly, nasty, hideous, obnoxious, disgusting, revolting, vile, heinous, malicious, grotesque piece of shit.
Darwin Porter has just written a tell-all biography called J Edgar Hoover & Clyde Tolson (Blood Moon Productions). Tolson, appointed associate director of the FBI in 1947, was rumoured to be J Edgar’s lifelong boyfriend. They met in 1928, and until Hoover’s death they ate every meal together, went on vacations together, and basically lived together. Conventional wisdom suggests that they were fags, but there’s no real proof, as Hoover, a man who spent his entire life blackmailing people, knew better than to leave any concrete proof lying around. There’s no evidence that he slept with women, either, so it seems likely that Hoover gave hoovers. Porter’s book comes just months after the release of a terrible biopic, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, that depicts Tolson as an affable homo devoted to a confused Hoover, who pushes him away when Tolson tries to kiss him. Of course the movie flopped — it made no sense. The filmmakers were too afraid to go all the way and out Hoover as the hypocritical closeted homo that he was. As Porter says, “All of the books written about Hoover thus far were written by straight men, and not one of them ever interviewed any of his gay friends.”
Hoover had sources everywhere, especially in Washington and Hollywood. One of his informants was Joan Crawford, who gave him dish; in exchange, he suppressed her past in porn. His other Hollywood informant was that lowlife Ronald Reagan. If anyone ever tried to out Hoover, he would counter-attack with all the dirt he had collected on them. With Hoover, everything was a Mexican standoff.
This book is important, not because it may contain the truth, but because it destroys what’s left of Hoover’s reputation. Did you know that he had intel on the bombing of Pearl Harbor, but he sat on it, making him more or less responsible for thousands of deaths? Or that he had almost nothing to do with the arrests or killings of any of the 1930s gangsters that he took credit for catching? You know what he was good at? Listening in on private conversations. What a hero.
A lot of people are angry with author Darwin Porter. They say that his outing of celebrities is just cheap gossip about dead people who can’t defend themselves. I suppose it’s because Porter is destroying carefully constructed myths that are comforting to most people. As gay men, we benefit the most from Porter’s work, because we know that except for AIDS, the closet was the most terrible thing about the 20th century. If the closet never existed, neither would Hoover. The fact that he got away with such duplicity under eight presidents makes you think that every one of them was a complete fool for tolerating it.
I want to believe the salacious stories Porter digs up, if only because no one has ever written an honest autobiography, anyway. In fact, many biographers are forced to sit on gay rumours because book publishers are too afraid that lawsuits will be initiated by the estates. This is never the case with Blood Moon. The people there seem to be looking for a fight.
But back to Hoover, and Porter’s book. I doubt any of you would disagree that outing hypocritical homophobes is not simply just, it is practically our duty. Fuck J Edgar Hoover. What a wretched, stinking, off-putting, nauseating, detestable, horrendous, odious, repellent, repugnant, malevolent, destructive, abhorrent, despicable old cocksucker.