The latest edition of "Biography" doesn't make you like the Arts & Entertainment series any less, but it does make you like PBS' "Frontline" series all the more.
Had "Biography's" hourlong portrait, "J. Edgar Hoover" (at 5 and 9 tonight on A&E) run before "Frontline's" recent, shattering expose of Hoover's life, it would stand as a perfectly serviceable record of the supreme U.S. bureaucrat and decades-long head of the FBI.
But it didn't, and producer-director Victor Kralyevich's conventional overview of the controversies swirling around Hoover is thus hopelessly out of the news loop.
The problem isn't simply that little time is devoted here to the evidence of Hoover's covert homosexual relationship with his second-in-command, Clyde Tolson, or of his cozy friendships with Mafia allies. Kralyevich and writer Alan Goldberg don't assess how organized crime may have used this evidence against Hoover in order to neutralize any FBI effort to combat the Mob.