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Saturday, June 8, 2019
WND's Cashill Pounces on Dubious MLK Claim
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jack Cashill thinks he has something worth writing about in his May 29 WorldNetDaily column:

Without intending to, civil rights historian David Garrow may have just preserved the legacy of Thomas Jefferson.

In a Standpoint article due to be published Thursday, Garrow reports on the FBI memos regarding Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. that were part of a substantial U.S. National Archives data dump from earlier this year.

Among the revelations from the FBI’s year-long bugging of King’s hotel rooms is that King had sex with more than 40 women, participated in orgies and, most damningly, stood by and laughed as a friend raped a woman.

As of this writing, the average consumer of mainstream news knows none of this. Although all of the major British publications have reported on Garrow’s research, none of America’s major media outlets has.

The problem for the major media is Garrow. A Pulitzer Prize winner and King biographer, he is no one’s idea of a right-wing smear artist. In his 2017 Obama biography, in fact, he critiques the president from the left.

As of this moment at least, Garrow is comfortably at home among the liberal journalistic elite. He has little use for those of us who are not.

Needles to say, Cashill omits certain inconvenient details about this alleged MLK revelation. As a real news outlet reported, Garrow's source is "FBI files purported to be summaries of recordings of King and his colleagues in the 1960s when their rooms were being bugged and phones wiretapped by Hoover." Any corresponding tapes and transcripts, if they exist, are under court seal and won't be made public until 2027, meaning that Garrow hasn't confirmed what those summaries claim.

Further, the FBI at the time was engaged in a disinformation campaign against King, and because of that, more circumspect historians have raised questions about whether the summaries should be taken at face value. (Garrow thinks the summaries are accurate.)

Nevertheless, Cashill insisted that Garrow "may have just preserved the legacy of Thomas Jefferson" and Andrew Jackson, bizarrely adding, "Say what one will about Jackson, but most of the Cherokees survived the Trail of Tears."

Laura Hollis also used her WND column to highlight the controversy, also making sure to leave out pesky details. She took a slightly different approach:

In this era of #MeToo and “Trust Women,” what would the reaction be if a group of feminist activists were to arrange a protest around the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., take sledgehammers and other blunt instruments to the statue of the man there, deface it with spray-painted sayings and hire a crane to knock it over? What would the public reaction be if local police and the National Park Service personnel were ordered to “stand down” and allow that to happen? Would pundits, gender and race scholars and Hollywood tweeters jump to the protesters’ defense? Would we hear calls for all streets and schools and parks named for Dr. King to be renamed?

I don’t think so. (And I would hope not.) But the deafening silence since the sordid revelations – unverified though some of them are – says plenty about the public discomfort when our heroes are revealed to be deeply flawed individuals. What does it do to their legacy? What standards are we holding public figures to now?

Hollis had an interesting argument but for her mention of Confederate monuments that have been removed. Changing standards don't change the idea that maybe we shouldn't have monuments to the losing side of a war against the United States.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:27 AM EDT

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