• Published on Nov 13, 2017
  • All the President's Men (1976) and The Post (2017) both tell stories set at the Washington Post. But why isn't Kay Graham in ATMP? And how do the films' portrayals of Ben Bradlee differ?
  • Film & AnimationFilm & Animation

Comments • 12

  • Rayoscope
    Rayoscope 2 months ago

    Katherine (Kay) Graham and Benjamin (Ben) Bradlee both had well-established and documented CIA pedigrees.
    Early in his career Ben Bradlee promulgated CIA-directed propaganda, urging the controversial execution of the convicted American spies Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. He and CIA Counterintelligence Chief James Jesus Angleton were involved, in an unsavory manner, in very questionable events following the murder of Washington D.C. painter Mary Pinchot Meyer in 1964. Bradlee spent many years undercover as a counter-espionage informant, a government propagandist, and 'unofficial' asset of the Central Intelligence Agency. It started publicly enough with his Pacific war posting as a navy destroyer intelligence officer. Thereafter it became much more clandestine.
    Philip Graham, Katherine Graham's husband and president of the Washington Post Company, had close links with the Central Intelligence Agency and it has been argued that he played an important role in Operation Mockingbird, the CIA program to infiltrate domestic American media. According to Katherine, her husband worked overtime at the Washington Post during the Bay of Pigs operation to protect the reputations of his friends who had organized the ill-fated venture. Philip Graham committed suicide (very curious and little-known backstory) by killing himself with a shotgun on 3rd August, 1963. Katharine now took over the running of the newspaper among other significant and influential business interests. Katherine 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 death, FAIR analyst Norman Solomon wrote, "Kay Graham's 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."
    Graham 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."

  • Rayoscope
    Rayoscope 2 months ago

    In July 1965 Katharine Graham appointed Ben Bradlee as managing editor of the Washington Post. Graham was pleased with the way Bradlee edited the Post and in 1968 she appointed him vice president of the company. Bradlee and Graham were strong supporters of the Vietnam War. This was partly because of the support the newspaper gave to President Lyndon B. Johnson. Daniel Ellsberg was a member of the McNamara Study Group that in 1968 had produced the classified History of Decision Making in Vietnam, 1945-1968. Ellsberg, disillusioned with the progress of the war, believed this document should be made available to the public. He gave a copy of what later became known as the Pentagon Papers to William Fulbright. However, he refused to do anything with the document, so Ellsberg gave a copy to Phil Geyelin of the Washington Post. Bradlee and Katharine Graham decided against publishing the contents of the document. Ellsberg now went to the New York Times and they began publishing extracts from the document on 13th June, 1971.
    The Washington Post was one of the last major papers to turn against the Vietnam War. Even today, it hews to a hard foreign policy line--usually to the right of The New York Times, a paper not known for having transcended the Cold War.
    There was Watergate, of course, that model of aggressive reporting by the Post. But even here, Graham's Post was doing the establishment's work. As Graham herself said, the investigation couldn't have succeeded without the cooperation of people inside the government willing to talk to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.
    In any case, it's clear that a major portion of the establishment wanted Nixon out. Having accomplished this, there was little taste for further crusading.

  • Cal Kris
    Cal Kris 9 months ago

    Graham doesn't appear in "The President's Men," but she does get mentioned, at least once:

  • yayayaya cocococo
    yayayaya cocococo Year ago +2

    According to Robert Redford, who produced/acted in All the Presidents Men, Katherine Graham, Publisher of the Washington Post, did not want to be portrayed in the film nor did she want the Post mentioned by name. The reason given was that the Post had gone through two very public battles in court and in the news with the Nixon Administration and she didn't want Hollywood to damage the reputation of the Washington Post because the post by 1976 was highly respected. Hollywood had never done a proper film on investigative reporting till All the President's Men.

  • RideMyTruck
    RideMyTruck Year ago +3

    The Post = Prequel to All the Presidents Men

  • Ken Smith
    Ken Smith Year ago

    Yeah, the next movie that gets made about the Washington Post will probably be in most likelihood about Trump!

  • Sharon Mahoney
    Sharon Mahoney Year ago +1

    Great analysis. I'm just disappointed you didn't have time to compare the acting styles of Robards vs. Hanks as Ben Bradlee. (My personal bias is that Robards did the ultimate portrayal, not only because he captured the Brahmin underlay inherent in Bradlee's mannerisms, but Robards was a dead ringer for Bradlee and disappeared into the character, whereas seeing "The Post"'s Bradlee I was always thinking, "That's Tom Hanks playing Ben Bradlee." It took me out of the movie.)

    • Michael
      Michael Year ago

      I agree and he was drunk.

    • keefriff99
      keefriff99 Year ago

      As much as I love Tom Hanks, Robards is the definitive Ben Bradlee. He owns that character. Even Hanks said he was trepidatious about taking on the role because of how Robards' towering performance would loom over whatever he did.

    • Sharon Mahoney
      Sharon Mahoney Year ago

      Thanks for the response! I wasn't aware of the release dates across the pond, but that makes sense.
      I've subscribed to your channel and I look forward to your future videos!

    • The Small Questions
      The Small Questions  Year ago +1

      Sharon Mahoney I couldn't really get that indepth as I only had the trailer to go off - the film isn't out in the UK until this coming Friday! Looking forward to seeing it in full but I imagine I'll agree, ATPM is so naturalistic and all the characters just feel like real people going about their business.

  • jflan92
    jflan92 Year ago

    I remember that there was an acting part of Katherine Graham in the film ATPM and Geraldine Page was chosen over her fellow actresses, Lauren Bacall & Patricia Neal, to play Mrs Graham. Unfortunately Ms Page wasn't happy about her acting role when she discovered that it was too short for her liking. So Ms Page withdrew, leaving the producers to omit the Katherine Graham character out of the ATPM cast & only for Mrs Graham's name to be mentioned by some other character in only one scene in the film.