Seymour Hersh is one of journalism’s most esteemed investigators—winning a Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting when he exposed the massacre of Vietnamese civilians at My Lai—but also “in turn talkative, churning, abrupt, zealous, egotistical and abrasively honest,” as Time regarded him in 1975. Hersh has a new memoir out, which came about after a failed attempt at a Dick Cheney expose when Hersh’s sources wouldn’t follow through on the record.
Hersh’s memoir, titled Reporter, is full of previously unreported news, as fans of the reporter might expect. According the New York Times, Hersh recalls one instance where Lyndon B. Johnson upset over a reporter’s article regarding the former President. So Johnson invited that reporter over to his Texas ranch, pulled down his pants, and pooped on the ground in front of him.
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But one section of the book also reveals some major former political figures enjoying marijuana that we thought were worth highlighting.
He remembers a night in San Francisco during the 1968 presidential campaign, when he was working as the press secretary for Eugene McCarthy. (Yes, Mr. Hersh, the reporter’s reporter, had a stint on the public-relations side of the game.) Mr. McCarthy had never smoked pot, so Mr. Hersh produced a joint; joining the group was Jerry Brown, the future governor of California. “The stuff did little for McCarthy, so he said, but it did much more for Brown,” Mr. Hersh writes.
A spokesman for Mr. Brown, contacted for this article, called the anecdote “a complete and total fabrication.” Mr. Hersh shrugged off the denial. “omg … why is he making a big deal of it?” Mr. Hersh wrote in an email. “it was the 60s, was it not?”
Jerry Brown and Eugene McCarthy, who would’ve thought?