While listening to Paul Harvey over the years, who’s show came on between real content and the news, I often wondered –What the hell does this clown actually do? His radio show was neither news nor commentary. He used his deeply affected and annoying voice to broadcast cornball stories, ones Americana expert, Garrison Keillor would likely have rejected as over the top. And he’d weave advertisements almost seamlessly into his reading, like a used-car salesman spinning his summer road trip with the family. Not news, not commentary, just garbage. Now we know the truth–as reported by the the Washington Post— that Harvey was often a shill for the FBI. Not only did he pass on some of his scripts to the agency for approval, he accepted written material from it for broadcast. I wonder if his employers ever knew. I’d have fired him on the spot for being a two-faced liar and a fraud.
I have no problem with people openly being patriotic cheerleaders if they want –free speech and all. But when someone masquerades as a broadcaster as part of a conspiracy to underhandedly manipulate the American public, I’m terribly appalled and angered. What Harvey did dangerously blurs the line between media and government.
For ratting out communists and promoting blind patriotism Harvey was congratulated by the big man himself. Here’s a quote from a letter J. Edgar Hoover wrote to Harvey:
“The staunch defense you have always put up in behalf of the FBI and your unwavering devotion to the best causes of your country have been a source of great inspiration to us.” (My emphasis)
Unwavering devotion can be a sick destructive thing, and it can often be found at the core of religion. Good riddance, Harvey.