Columbia University President Lee Bollinger currently sits between RAND Corporation Board of Trustees Chairman Ronald Olson and Coca-Cola Company board member Barry Diller on the Washington Post Company media conglomerate’s board of directors. And Washington Post Company Chairman of the Board, Donald Graham, also sits next to Columbia University President Bollinger on the Columbia University School of Journalism’s Pulitzer Prize Board.
So don’t expect the Washington Post Company’s weekly news magazine, Newsweek, to put a photograph of any Columbia or Barnard student anti-war activists on its cover in September 2007, like it did once in September 1968.
Following is the second part of an article about the Washington Post Company and Newsweek magazine’s hidden history which first appeared in the February 17, 1993 issue of the now-defunct Lower East Side alternative newspaper, Downtown:
Newsweek Magazine’s Historical CIA Connection—Part 2
Former Newsweek Owner Philip Graham was the son of a Florida state senator and real estate developer, the half-brother of former U.S. Senator Bob Graham of Florida, the husband of the now-deceased former Washington Post Company chairman of the board Katharine Meyer Graham, and the father of the current Washington Post Company chairman of the board (and a current member of Columbia University’s Pulitzer Prize Board)—Donald Meyer-Graham.
After marrying the daughter of Washington Post publisher Eugene Meyer in 1940, Philip Graham spent part of World War II in attendance at the Army Intelligence School in Harrisburg, PA. Following World War II, Graham’s father-in-law named him publisher and editor-in-chief of the Washington Post at the age of 30. And in the Summer of 1946, Graham’s father-in-law provided him and Katharine Meyer-Graham with the money to make a down payment on a house in Washington, D.C. that had belonged to one of the men most responsible for creating the Central Intelligence Agency [CIA]—former Office of Strategic Services [OSS] Director “Wild Bill” Donovan.
Top CIA officials like Frank Wisner, Richard Helms, Desmond Fitzgerald and Allen Dulles were also entertained socially by Philip Graham and Katharine Meyer-Graham during the late 1940s and 1950s. CIA Covert Action Chief Frank Wisner and former Newsweek Owner Philip Graham apparently conceived of the CIA’s secret Operation MOCKINGBIRD program to recruit and use journalists for CIA covert action program support. As a result of the Operation MOCKINGBIRD program, Katharine The Great noted that “by the early 1950s, the CIA `owned’ respected members of the New York Times, Newsweek, CBS, and other communications vehicles, plus stringers, 400 to 600 in all, according to a former CIA analyst.”
The same book also revealed that “Over a period of months, at the Graham salon and other meeting places, as a former Agency man who attended those meetings recalls, Wisner discussed with him [Philip Graham] which journalists were for sale and what price (`You could get a journalist cheaper than good call girl,’ the former Agency man says, `for a couple hundred dollars a month’) on how to handle them, where to place them, and what sorts of stories to produce;” and “Phil [Graham] recommended target reporters for jobs with other newspapers.” The “former Agency man” also told the author of Katharine the Great that since the Washington Post couldn’t afford to hire foreign correspondents in the days when it was still a money-losing operation, the CIA paid for the foreign trips of Washington Post reporters in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
Within four years after Philip Graham’s Washington Post media conglomerate acquired Newsweek, the two men who conceived of the CIA’s “Operation MOCKINGBIRD” mass media program—Frank Wisner and Philip Graham—had both committed suicide. According to Katharine The Great, prior to shooting himself in August 1963, Philip Graham had begun to talk “about the CIA’s manipulation of journalists,” “said it disturbed him,” “said it to the CIA,” and “turned against the newsmen and politicians whose code was mutual trust and strangely silence” so that “now the word was that Phil Graham could not be trusted.” At a June 1963 newspaperman’s convention in Phoenix, for instance, Newsweek Owner Philip Graham had “appeared in the banquet room during a speech, grabbed the microphone and announced to the crowd…that he was going to tell them exactly who in Washington was sleeping with whom, beginning with President Kennedy” whose “favorite…was now Mary Meyer, who had been married to CIA official Cord Meyer…and was the sister of Ben Bradley’s wife,” according to Katharine The Great. One Establishment newsman then telephoned JFK, while other Establishment newsmen apparently hustled Graham back to his motel to be injected with a sedative and rushed to the Phoenix Airport in an ambulance, prior to being institutionalized. (end of part 2).
Next: Columbia University’s Washington Post Company/Newsweek Link and Newsweek Magazine’s Historical CIA Connection—Part 3