The most vulgar American president ever? It sure as #$@!%* isn't Donald TrumpBreaking News
tags: LBJ, Trump
As the world awaits the next nasty utterance from Donald Trump, one can only marvel at how history itself has ended up in (language alert!) — a “shithole.” Amid the chronic shock and horrified reactions, people have become blind to the fact that he is not (yet) the most disgusting U.S. president in living memory. That title actually belongs to a Texan Democrat, Lyndon B. Johnson, a howling, flatulent tormentor of women whose cussing and racism remain breathtaking today. And if you’re offended by Trump’s level of vulgarity, you really — really — don’t want to read any further.
How Johnson got away with his behaviour for so long was complicated, but distraction helped. The very way he attained power — by succeeding the slain John F. Kennedy — caused some critics (notably writer Robert Sherrill and activist Barbara Garson) to focus scornfully on that. The agony of the Vietnam War likewise diverted attention.
But Johnson was also an intense networker, and he succeeded in cultivating or otherwise entangling several prominent journalists, including Walter Lippman and Drew Pearson, as well as Washington Post owner Katherine Graham. According to biographers Ronald Steel and Oliver Pilat, plus Graham’s own 1997 memoir, these personal ties undermined a lot of objectivity in the press.
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