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In The Pay of Foundations—Part 22

How U.S. power elite and liberal establishment foundations fund a "parallel left" media network of left media journalists and gatekeepers.
In his 1969 book, The Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson, a Princeton University Professor of History named Eric Goldman described the historical role that 21st-century Democracy Now! funder Bill Moyers played within the White House in the 1960s Vietnam War Era during the Democratic administration of Lyndon B. Johnson in the following way:

"... With the confidence and affection of President Johnson... he was in a freewheeling position. He carried on some activities like... determining who was to meet with the President... He also supervised the planning of presidential trips and had a good deal to do with determining not only where President Johnson went but how he projected himself. But the Moyers role was sweeping well beyond. He was... writing a number of important speeches and heavily editing the drafts others prepared.

"Increasingly Moyers sat in on presidential conferences and talked for long hours alone with President Johnson... The President... permitted Bill Moyers to assume increasingly the role of chief of staff... This meant that Moyers delegated many of the tasks within the White House; often spoke in the name of the President to officials from the Vice-President on down and to powerful people outside the government; sometimes okayed or vetoed proposals of varying importance without consulting the Oval Office; had a hand—on occasion, a decisive hand—in making many top-level appointments; and was likely to be called by the President for long talks about developments... "

But during the period when Democracy Now! funder Moyers was also the Johnson White House Press Secretary, then-New York Times columnist James Reston asserted, in a Jan. 7, 1966 New York Times article, that the Johnson "White House misleads public by not being completely truthful with newsmen," according to the New York Times Index 1966 book. In addition, Moyers apparently attempted to manage news coverage of the Johnson White House's actions and manipulate public opinion in the USA as LBJ's press secretary by planting questions for some corporate media Establishment journalists to ask President Johnson during LBJ's White House press conferences. According to page 579 of the New York Times Index 1966 book a Jan. 11, 1966 New York Times article reported the following:

"Press Secretary Moyers says press conferences are designed to serve `convenience of President, not convenience of press,' TV interview; says they are device to let President say what is on his mind; defends `planting' questions with newsmen beforehand; admits he plants questions... "

Although Moyers officially remained LBJ's White House Press Secretary until late January 1967, in April 1966 Moyers moved from the White House press office to an office in the West Executive wing of the Johnson White House where (according to an entry, related to an Apr. 3, 1966 New York Times article, on page 573 of New York Times Index 1966), the Democracy Now! funder was "seen influencing Johnson more than anyone else;" and his "ability to understand Johnson and satisfy his wishes," as LBJ escalated U.S. military intervention in Vietnam, was "noted." The same New York Times Index 1966 entry for Apr. 3, 1966 also noted that Moyers "handles day-to-day decision-making" in the Johnson White House.

According to the book Lyndon B. Johnson's Vietnam Papers that David Barrett edited, for example, a file labeled "Meeting Notes File, Box 1," at the LBJ Library in Texas contains a copy of a Feb. 10, 1965 document, titled "Summary Record of NSC Meeting No. 548... Cabinet Room, 2:10 P.M. Re: Vietnam," which includes a reference to Democracy Now! funder Bill Moyers and states the following:

"... Secretary McNamara said that Ambassador Taylor, the Joint Chiefs and the Department of Defense recommended a retaliatory strike today at daylight. He explained to the President the targets in North Vietnam which could be hit today... The President stressed the importance of preventing any leaks to newspapers... In response to the President's questions, Secretary McNamara said about 130 planes would be used in the strike recommended for approval... The President asked whether all those present agreed we should launch a retaliatory strike... The President received affirmative answers when he asked Director McCone, Secretary Dillon, and Director Rowan whether they agreed with the recommended strike plan. MR. MOYERS said he thought the strike should be made to meet domestic public opinion requirements... "

A file labeled "Reference File, Vietnam, Box 1" at the LBJ Library also contains a copy of an Apr. 27, 1965 memo that Bill Moyers wrote to "The President" in which the longtime president of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy Foundation that funds Democracy Now! stated:

"Goodwin and I have heard reports that the State Department is going to do another White Paper on Vietnam.

"We think this one should be much better—and much more effective—than the last one. We would like to write it (as, in fact other White Papers in the past were prepared in the White House, the one on Cuba, being the most prominent example).

"This paper should not be an effort to `fool' people. It should be honest, straightforward--strongly buttressed by facts--and designed to appeal to liberals and intellectuals, those people who have the most problem right now with our position in South Vietnam."

Another file labeled "Meeting Notes, File, Box 1" at the LBJ Library also contains a copy of a Sept. 19, 1965 "Memorandum for the record, re: Luncheon Meeting with the President, Ball, McNamara, McGeorge Bundy, Raborn, MOYERS and Califano," which includes the following reference to Democracy Now! funder Bill Moyers:

"MOYERS said that we had been too defensive in our public handling of the tear gas situation, that we should remind the world that the Viet Cong slit throats and bomb children and that any human being in one of the Vietnam caves would prefer to cry from tear gas rather than be killed by hand grenades... "

Another interesting reference to Moyers is contained in a file labeled "NS File, M. Bundy Files, Memos to President, Box 2," at the LBJ Library. In a Feb. 2, 1965 memo to "The President," re: "A Deputy or Potential Successor in my office," the now-deceased former National Security Affairs Advisor and Ford Foundation President McGeorge Bundy wrote:

"Some weeks ago you asked me who should take over if, for any reason, I was no longer on this job, and I told you I had thought some about it.

"The ideal man for this job is BILL MOYERS... "

According to a 1991 book, Film and Propaganda In America: A Documentary History, Volume IV: 1945 and After that Lawrence Suid edited, a file related to John Wayne's pro-war Sixties movie, The Green Berets, at the LBJ Library also contains an interesting April 21, 1966 letter from Bill Moyers to John Wayne, in which Democracy Now! funder Moyers wrote:

"Dear Mr. Wayne:

"... We are grateful for your continuing support of the President's policy to put an end to aggression in Vietnam.

"Best wishes,

"Sincerely,

"BILL MOYERS

"Special Assistant to the President."

And a de-classified transcript of a taped Johnson White House Oval Office conversation between LBJ and Democracy Now! funder and long-time Schumann Foundation/Schumann Center for Media and Democracy President Moyers that took place at 9:15 p.m. on M 13, 1965 reveals what Moyers said to LBJ prior to McGeorge Bundy's appearance at a campus teach-in to argue in defense of the Johnson administration's escalation of U.S. military intervention in Vietnam:

"I just hate for the President's representative to be debating with that bunch of... a lot of (them) will be kooks, a lot of them are just misguided zealots. It just sort of demeans our position. I don't think the White House ever has to debate. I think if—you don't make decisions by debating. You make your decisions and then history will justify them. You can't get out and debate in favor of support for them.

"I'm certain Mac [McGeorge Bundy] will control his temper. If he were to lose it once, it would be bad... " (end of part 22)