Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Blot on Kay Graham's Legacy

In the 1970s, Katharine Meyer Graham was a hero of American journalism as she took the heat for the Washington Post’s exposure of Watergate until the final downfall of Richard Nixon.

So it comes as a particularly irony that the strongest supporter now of Nixon’s doppelganger, George W. Bush, is the editor of the Post’s editorial page, Fred Hiatt, who has not only justified this outrageous Administration at every turn but savaged the Democratic opposition, the latest a diatribe against Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Syria.

In 1966, I met Mrs. Graham when she was the guest of honor at Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball, and over the years, I would hear about her from Vivian Cadden, my colleague, who was a classmate of hers at Vassar.

A shy woman, Mrs. Graham became publisher after her husband’s suicide and weathered the worst that Nixon’s gang could offer, including a challenge to the Post’s ownership of Florida radio stations and the infamous threat to Woodward and Bernstein by John Mitchell, “Katie Graham’s going to get her tit caught in a big fat wringer if that’s published.” It was published.

All of which leads to a question for Donald E. Graham, her son, now chairman of the Post: Who the hell is Fred Hiatt to be tearing down all that?

1 comment:

Phoebe said...

You went to the Black and White ball?!!? I just rented the A&E Biography "Truman Capote: Tiny Terror" and it was full of footage of that. I am on a TC binge since I saw Infamous. Did you see Infamous?