Post Owner Katharine Graham
Secrecy in Press and Government
"We live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things
the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy
flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets
and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows."
-- Katharine Graham, former owner of the Washington
Post, reported in Online Journal 2/5/04
Washington Post Promotes Agendas of Power Elite
an article published by the media watchdog group, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
(FAIR), [writer Doug] Henwood traced the Washington Post's Establishment connections
to Eugene Meyer, who
took control of the Post in 1933. Meyer transferred ownership to his daughter
Katharine and her husband, Philip Graham, after World War II, when he was
appointed by Harry S. Truman to serve as the first president
of the World Bank. Meyer had been "a Wall Street
banker, director of President Wilson's War Finance
Corporation, a governor of the Federal Reserve System, and director of
Finance Corporation," Henwood wrote.
Graham, Meyer's successor, had been in military intelligence during the war.
When he became the Post's publisher, he continued to have close contact with
his fellow upper-class intelligence veterans—now making policy at the newly
actively promoted the CIA's goals in his newspaper. The incestuous
relationship between the Post and the intelligence community even extended to
its hiring practices. Watergate-era editor Ben Bradlee also
had an intelligence background; and before he became a journalist, reporter Bob Woodward was an officer in Naval Intelligence.
In a 1977 article in Rolling Stone magazine about CIA influence in
American media, Woodward's partner, Carl Bernstein, quoted this from a CIA official:
"It was widely known that Phil Graham was somebody you could get help
from." Graham has been identified by some investigators as the main
contact in Project Mockingbird, the CIA program to
infiltrate domestic American media.
In her autobiography, Katharine Graham described how her husband worked
overtime at the Post during the Bay of Pigs operation to protect the reputations of his friends from Yale who had
organized the ill-fated venture.
Graham committed suicide, and his widow Katharine assumed the role of
publisher, she continued her husband's policies of supporting the efforts of
the intelligence community in advancing the foreign policy and economic
agenda of the nation's ruling elites. In a retrospective column written after
her own death, FAIR analyst Norman Solomon wrote, "Her
newspaper mainly functioned as a helpmate to the war-makers in the White
House, State Department and Pentagon." It accomplished this function
(and continues to do so) using all the classic propaganda techniques of
evasion, confusion, misdirection, targeted emphasis, disinformation, secrecy,
omission of important facts, and selective leaks.
herself rationalized this policy in a speech she gave at CIA headquarters in
1988. "We live in a dirty and dangerous world," she said.
"There are some things the general public does not need to know and
shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take
legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to
print what it knows."
"Secret admirers: The Bushes and the Washington Post" (Part 1), Online Journal, February 5,
Special Note: For a website which specializes in revealing the power brokers in the media and their probable agendas, see SourceWatch at http://www.sourcewatch.org
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Washington Post Owner Katharine Graham Advocates Secrecy in Press and