Ben Bradlee is dead
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Louis Proyect
2014-10-22 01:24:24 UTC
Ben Bradlee, Editor Who Directed Watergate Coverage, Dies at 93

With their growing wealth and political clout, Philip and Katherine
Graham began to identify more and more with the Democratic Party elites,
who were using the political capital acquired through the defeat of
fascism against the newly discovered Communist "threat." Before long,
the Washington Post would become a pillar of the Cold War. Phil Graham
took to this new crusade with great relish, believing that the press
should serve as a handmaiden to the anti-Communist cause.

Among the Grahams's guests at social functions were people like Frank
Wisner, an OSS veteran who had become the director of Office of Policy
Coordination in 1948, the covert operations arm of the CIA. Wisner had
begun to recruit foreign students and infiltrate trade unions with an
eye to defeating the reds. Philip Graham helped Wisner devise a plan
called Operation Mockingbird that would recruit journalists to the cause.

Ben Bradlee would eventually become a regular at the Grahams's salons
and then a top editor at the Post. In an appendix to Deborah Davis's
Katherine the Great, we learn that Bradlee played a key role in a
massive propaganda campaign against Julius and Ethel Rosenberg while
attached as a press attach? to the American embassy in Paris in the
early 1950s. In a document obtained through the Freedom of Information
Act, Davis reveals that Bradlee had advised the assistant prosecutor in
the Rosenberg case that he had been sent to Paris by Robert Thayer, who
was head of the CIA in Paris. The prosecutor writes, "He [Bradlee]
stated that he was supposed to have been met by a representative of the
CIA at the airport but missed connections." Apparently, Operation
Mockingbird was in full tilt. Versions of Bradlee's dispatches would
appear in the pages of the three largest circulation French morning

When Bradlee eventually showed up for a job interview with Katherine
Graham, who had taken over the paper after her husband had killed
himself (he was manic-depressive), she asked him how he planned to cover
the Vietnam War. Bradlee said he didn't know, but that he'd hire no
"son-of-a-bitch" reporter who was not a patriot.

full: http://www.swans.com/library/art11/lproy31.html

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