Thursday, 16 April 2009

253: J. Edgar Hoover

“J. Edgar Hoover and Randy Agnew are discovered together in a motel.”

from “Unlikely Events of 1971” by Edward Sorel
in “National Lampoon” January 1971

How prevalent rumours of Hoover’s putative secret homosexuality were at this date I don’t know. The rumours usually focus on Hoover’s close association with Clyde Tolson. Of course, Sorel is a very political cartoonist, and the rumours may have been at some mid-territory of his mind, if not the actual fore-front.
I don’t think the cartoon is using homosexuality as a smear. Rather, given Hoover’s reputation as the conservative hammer of probity in public America, the idea that he might be caught in a tryst with the Vice-President’s son is a wonderfully malicious conceit. It’s of a piece with the other cartoons from this piece, which included Greta Garbo on TV’s “Celebrity Bowling” and Teddy Kennedy opening a chain of swimming schools.

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