Lyndon Johnson was a great American for working with Martin Luther King to secure passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act in 1964-65, as depicted in the movie Selma. So say historian David Kaiser and former Cabinet official Joseph Califano. Yet It is no contradiction to note that Johnson could also be a crude and mean SOB, as Philip Nelson reminds us.
Johnson and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, Nelson writes in OpEdNews:
” liked to play the recordings of King’s sexual trysts for their own amusement or at cocktail parties for others as well. LBJ played them for long time crony, a long-time Texas pal of Johnson’s, then Lieutenant Governor Ben Barnes, who described it in his memoir. There are numerous reports about how these recordings were delivered to President Johnson, who took great delight in listening to them, especially King’s sexual exploits. One such account was a 2011 article in the Atlantic Monthly magazine, which stated: “He listened to the tapes that even had the noises of the bedsprings,” Time correspondent Hugh Sidey reported in 1975. Johnson would say to anyone having nice things to say about MLK, “Goddammit, if you could only hear what that hypocritical preacher does sexually.”[v] Lyndon Johnson’s description of King was the same in 1967 as it had been three years earlier, despite how they had ‘collaborated’ on the passage of the legislation in between.”