Me, Bill Moyers and Rachel Maddow

Photo by Peabody Awards | CC BY 2.0

Last week I had a revelation about American liberals and their obsession with the Russiagate story—a revelation that came, oddly enough, courtesy of Bill Moyers.

I have a curious history with Moyers.  In the summer of 1967, as a 17-year-old college dropout, I was hired to help plan an experimental branch of the State University of New York at Old Westbury.  All the other student planners were high-achieving academics; I was referred to as “Dropout in Residence.”  So I spent that magical, hash-scented summer of ’67 on the idyllic grounds of the campus-to-be, an impossibly beautiful estate filled with dazzling flower-gardens and stands of rare trees, as luminaries of all kinds dropped by for day-long hang-out sessions–people like WH Auden, Alan Watts, and Joan Baez (who sang to me, alone, for an hour, in front of a roaring fireplace—a once-in-a-lifetime solo concert that I completely ruined for myself by obsessively wondering if I had a shot with her). The other kids were all high-achieving academics; I was the token punk.

Bill Moyers—still famous, back then, as Lyndon Johnson’s press secretary–had been invited to spend a day with us by his close friend, the Old Westbury president, a JFK liberal and former Peace Corps head named Harris Wofford.  As ten or twelve of us sat around the mansion-house table after dinner, drinking sherry, Moyers advised us to keep our quasi-revolutionary project very hush-hush, lest the…

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