#27 Mad Men At The Peace Corps: Bill Moyers (Washington, D.C.)

Bob Gale was apprehensive being called into Moyers’s office. It wasn’t Moyers’s way to have a tete-a-tete. Moyers was edgy standing behind his desk, and while only about 27 at the time, he appeared “fatherly,” thought Bob.

There had been “talk,” Bill told Gale. Talk of ‘after-hour’ antics on the California advance trip. Moyers told Gale that as the head of Recruitment it was his responsibility to behave himself and to see that others did at well. They (the recruiters) had no right to ‘party on a business trip at government expense.’ He told Gale that his ‘antics’ could bring shame to the Peace Corps. “He was being very‘Baptist’ with me,” Gale recalled.

Moyers had also been “thoroughly informed” as to all of their doings in California and had exaggerated them in his mind, or his informer had exaggerated them to the Deputy Director of the Peace Corps. Moyers told Gale that it was dangerous to cavort into the night in cities where the press was very alert and sophisticated.

Bill Moyers at the Peace Corps

Bill Moyers at the Peace Corps

Gale cut him off. “Look, Bill, these people were working fourteen to sixteen hours a day out there, seven days a week, two weeks in a row. They have to stay in seedy places. Their per- diem doesn’t cover their expenses. Sixteen dollars a day doesn’t cover a fifth of what it costs. But they brought into the agency more applications than ever before in the history of the Peace Corps. And that is what Sarge wants. What recruiters do after hours is not my business, and I don’t think what I do after hours, here or there, is your business!”

Gale told Moyers that if he ever brought up the subject again, he’d quit. And then Gale started out the out the door, but he stopped again, and turning around, added, “Don’t get me wrong, Bill. I’m not kidding and I’m not bluffing. I am absolutely totally prepared to quit on the spot if you ever bring up the after-hours subject again.”

And Moyers never did.


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