Market Mad House

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche


Strange Parallels between Dr. Anthony Fauci and J. Edgar Hoover

“History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.” – Karl Marx.

American history is repeating itself. A career federal bureaucrat, the director of a formerly obscure federal agency, has become a national hero.

To explain, millions of Americans are lionizing and celebrating Doctor Anthony S. Fauci MD as the nation’s greatest hero. If you are unfamiliar with him, Fauci has been the director of an obscure federal agency, the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAD) since 1984.

Is Fauci a Hero or a Villain?

Fauci has become a hero and one of the most controversial figures in America as the public face of the nation’s response to COVID-19. The media and tens of millions of Americans celebrate Fauci as a defender of science and protector of the innocent.

Controversially, millions of other Americans view Fauci as a quack, a fraud, and a would-be tyrant. In particular, US Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) accuses Fauci of lying about “gain of function” research that could have infected humans with COVID-19.

To elaborate, some critics claim Fauci promoted federal funding of gain of function of research with coronaviruses in Wuhan, China, that could have exposed humans to COVID-19. Fauci is a well-known promoter of gain of function research.

Fauci also has a history of lying to the public. For example, Fauci falsely claimed masks did not protect people from coronavirus in February 2020. Disgustingly, Fauci arrogantly defended his lies when interviewers discussed them.

The Cult of J. Edgar Hoover

Interestingly, a similar cult of celebrity and controversy grew up around another famous long-serving bureaucrat in the 20th Century. That bureaucrat was J. Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI from 1924 to 1972.

During the 1930s, Hoover became famous as the face of the federal government’s battle against an epidemic of depression era crime. In particular, pursuing bandits; such as John Dillinger and Pretty Boy Floyd, whose exploits were making a mockery of law and order and government authority.

Later, during World War II, Hoover became the face of America’s battle against spies and saboteurs. Ironically, the only foreign spies operating in the United States during World War II were agents of America’s so-called ally, the Soviet Union. Notably, Hoover’s agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), failed to prevent the greatest act of espionage in American history, the Soviet theft of atomic bomb secrets.

J. Edgar Hoover

In the Cold War, Hoover, ironically, became the face of America’s battle against Soviet infiltration and espionage. Yes, the man who could not stop the Communists from stealing America’s greatest secret was in charge of fighting Soviet espionage.

By the 1960s, Hoover became a joke by accusing Civil Rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Junior, and black nationalists such as Malcolm X, of being Communist spies. The claims were preposterous, and Hoover lost all credibility.

However, Hoover kept his job because his files contained enormous amounts of dirt on influential politicians. In particular, President John F. Kennedy Senior’s (D-Massachusetts) alleged affairs with Nazi and Soviet spies.

Today, Americans remember Hoover as a national embarrassment, a racist, a paranoid, an amateur lawman, and a poor security chief. Yet in his lifetime Americans viewed Hoover as a hero and savior, as some Americans view Fauci as a hero today.

Hoover’s Tactics

Hoover built his power and cult of personality using a few tactics Fauci now utilizes.

Hoover’s first tactic was to present himself as an incorruptible public servant and selfless patriot. This image was popular in a nation where many law enforcement officers were openly corrupt, racist, brutal, and often on Organized Crime’s payroll. Some of this image was real. Hoover could have made more money in private industry, yet he stayed at the FBI.

Hoover’s second tactic was to present himself as an authority on crime, criminology, law enforcement, forensic science, and national security. For example, Hoover wrote books about the Communist menace. Like Fauci, Hoover used science by establishing a national crime lab and promoting scientific investigation of crime.

Hoover in his office early in his career

Hoover’s third tactic was to make himself indefensible to political leaders of both parties. In particular, J. Edgar was always willing to cover up scandals and help politicians hide their dirty laundry. For example, when JFK’s name became associated with the Profumo Scandal that destroyed British Minister Harold Macmillan. President Kennedy’s younger brother and US Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy turned to Hoover for help hiding JFK’s involvement in the Profumo affair.

Fourth, Hoover built close relationships with the media. In particular, national columnists and radio personalities the biggest influencers in Mid-20th Century America.

For example, Hoover had a close working relationship with radio personality and columnist Walter Winchell. Winchell was the nation’s most popular columnist who hosted a popular radio show. Hoover bought influence with Winchell by feeding him information, gossip, and sensational stories.

Beyond the columnists, Hoover developed relationships with Hollywood. His efforts led to movies celebrating the FBI as heroes, including The FBI Story starring Jimmy Stewart ,and a long-running TV series.  

Hoover’s efforts worked, highly professional, incorruptible FBI agents became a staple in popular culture. The news media often reported FBI press releases as fact.

 These tactics allowed Hoover to stay on the job until 1972, when he finally retired. After his death, historical revisionism destroyed much of the Hoover myth.

What Fauci Learned from Hoover

I don’t know how much Fauci knows about Hoover, but it appears the doctor is using some of the FBI Director’s tactics.

For example, Fauci always seems to be available to speak to the media. In particular, Fauci is always on television and is constantly being interviewed. Some interviews Fauci gives are total nonsense. For instance, Fauci says Santa Claus is ‘good to go’ for Christmas with booster shot” in The Hill.

Yet Fauci gains enormous amounts of goodwill and great publicity from all those stories. Moreover, having a scientist as the face of the government’s COVID-19 response is of enormous value to politicians. For example, Fauci, not the President, is the target of attacks on mask and vaccine mandates. Fauci takes the hits and keeps the president from having to appear on television with bad news.

Hoover poses for the camera

Similarly to Hoover, many people view Fauci as a Saint and a national hero. The doctor’s fan attack any criticism of Fauci online as unpatriotic. As with Hoover, there is some truth to the Fauci legend. The doctor could enjoy a comfortable retirement or make big money in private industry. Instead, like Hoover Fauci devotes his life to tireless public service or at least the appearance of it.

Moreover, Fauci presents himself as the symbol of science, as Hoover made himself the champion of law and order. Both men presented themselves as heroes defending the country.

Yes, Fauci is a “real scientist” but he’s also a slick and cynical political operator who knows how to manipulate the media, politicians, and public opinion. Indeed, cynics will say that Fauci spends more time on politics and public relations than virology. Just as Hoover spent more time talking to columnists than investigating the Mafia and Communist subversion.

Yes, Fauci is a “real scientist” but he’s also a slick and cynical political operator who knows how to manipulate the media, politicians, and public opinion. Indeed, cynics will say that Fauci spends more time on politics and public relations than virology. Just as Hoover spent more time talking to columnists than investigating the Mafia and Communist subversion.

Fauci playing scientist

I have to wonder if Fauci will ultimately face a similar fate. I expect future historians could expose Fauci as a fraud or worse. However, if history repeats itself, they will not expose Fauci’s worst excesses until after his death.

There is one lesson to learn from both J. Edgar Hoover and Dr. Anthony Fauci. That lesson is do not put absolute faith and total trust in ambitious bureaucrats. Unfortunately, Fauci’s popularity shows Americans did not learn that lesson from the excesses of J. Edgar Hoover.