JFK postscript: CIA intrigue enveloped Bradlee and Angleton

British historian John Simkin adds important detail to the story of Ben Bradlee and CIA Counterintelligence Chief James Angleton after the assassination of President Kennedy.

I find Simkin to be a credible and knowledgeable writer. If he has made any mistakes, please let me know via email.

Mary Meyer death
Mary Meyer, former JFK mistress, was murdered in Washington DC in October 1964.

Simkin writes:

“Ben Bradlee died last week. The day he died President Barack Obama issued a statement that said: “For Benjamin Bradlee, journalism was more than a profession — it was a public good vital to our democracy. A true newspaperman, he transformed the Washington Post into one of the country’s finest newspapers, and with him at the helm, a growing army of reporters published the Pentagon Papers, exposed Watergate, and told stories that needed to be told – stories that helped us understand our world and one another a little bit better. The standard he set – a standard for honest, objective, meticulous reporting – encouraged so many others to enter the profession. And that standard is why, last year, I was proud to honor Ben with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Today, we offer our thoughts and prayers to Ben’s family, and all who were fortunate to share in what truly was a good life.” (1)

Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee c. 1971

The Daily Telegraph described him as “the foremost American newspaper editor of his time” (2) and The Guardian claimed that he was “the most lauded and influential American journalist of his era”. (3) The New York Times agreed and quoted one of his colleagues, Leonard Downie Jr. as saying “We would follow this man over any hill, into any battle, no matter what lay ahead.” (4)

Another colleague, went even further. David Von Drehle pointed out: “Charisma is a word, like thunderstorm or orgasm, which sits pretty flat on the page or the screen compared with the actual experience it tries to name. I don’t recall exactly when I first looked it up in the dictionary and read that charisma is a ‘personal magic of leadership,’ a ‘special magnetic charm.’ But I remember exactly when I first felt the full impact of the thing itself. Benjamin Crowninshield Bradlee was gliding through the newsroom of the Washington Post, pushing a sort of force field ahead of him like the bow wave of a vintage Chris-Craft motor yacht. All across the vast expanse of identical desks, faces turned toward him – were pulled in his direction – much as a field of flowers turns toward the sun. We were powerless to look away.” (5)

A Story Not Told: JFK’s Affair

Most of the obituaries carried a detailed account of the Watergate Scandal. However, as Christopher Reed has pointed out: “Watergate hurt Washington, but was also cited as proof that its political system worked – eventually.” (6) The New York Times quoted Bradlee as saying: “No matter how many spin doctors were provided by no matter how many sides of how many arguments, from Watergate on, I started looking for the truth after hearing the official version of a truth.”

None of the obituaries mention the interview that James Truitt gave to the National Enquirer that was published on 23rd February, 1976, with the headline, “Former Vice President of Washington Post Reveals… JFK 2-Year White House Romance”.

Truitt told the newspaper that Mary Pinchot Meyer was having an affair with John F. Kennedy. He also claimed that Mary had told them that she was keeping an account of this relationship in her diary. Truitt added that after Meyer had been murdered on 12th October, 1964,  the diary had been removed from her house by Ben Bradlee and James Jesus Angleton and later destroyed. (7)

Mary Pinchot Meyer

The newspaper sent a journalist to interview Bradlee about the issues raised by Truitt. According to one eyewitness account, Bradlee “erupted in a shouting rage and had the reporter thrown out of the building”. Nina Burleigh claims that it was Watergate that motivated Truitt to give the interview.

“Truitt was disgusted that Bradlee was getting credit as a great champion of the First Amendment for exposing Nixon’s steamy side in Watergate coverage after having indulgently overlooked Kennedy’s hypocrisies.” Truitt was also angry that Bradlee had not exposed Kennedy’s affair with Mary Pinchot Meyer in his book, Conversations with Kennedy. Truitt had been close to Meyer during this period and had received a considerable amount of information about the relationship. (8)

Ben Bradlee, who had gone on holiday with his new wife, Sally Quinn, gave orders for the Washington Post to ignore the story. However, Harry Rosenfeld, a senior figure at the newspaper, commented, “We’re not going to treat ourselves more kindly than we treat others.” (9) However, when the article was published it included several interviews with Kennedy’s friends who denied he had an affair with Meyer. Kenneth O’Donnell described her as a “lovely lady” but denied that there had been a romance. Timothy Reardon claimed that “nothing like that ever happened at the White House with her or anyone else.” (10)

Bradlee and Angleton

Ben Bradlee and James Jesus Angleton continued to deny the story. Some of Mary’s friends knew that the two men were lying about the diary and some spoke anonymously to other newspapers and magazines. Later that month Time Magazine published an article on Truitt’s story. (11) In an interview with Jay Gourley, Bradlee’s former wife, and Mary’s sister, Antoinette Pinchot Bradlee admitted that her sister had been having an affair with John F. Kennedy: “It was nothing to be ashamed of. I think Jackie might have suspected it, but she didn’t know for sure.” (12)

Bradlee’s strategy of not answering questions from reporters eventually worked and the story disappeared from the newspapers. His next crisis came in 1979 when Deborah Davis published her book, Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and the Washington Post. Davis covered the murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer and commented on Bradlee being unwilling to talk about the matter. However, what really upset Bradlee was his involvement in Operation Mockingbird, the CIA’s attempt to control the media. This threatened to destroy Bradlee’s reputation as a fearless investigator of the truth. According to Davis, the articles on Watergate that appeared in the Washington Post was a CIA “limited hangout” operation.

James Angleton, CIA ccounterintelligence chief

In an interview Davis gave to Kenn Thomas of Steamshovel Press in 1992 she pointed out that it was Bradlee’s work with United States Information Agency in Paris that was one of the causes of this anger. “It was the propaganda arm of the embassy. They produced propaganda that was then disseminated by the CIA all over Europe. They planted newspaper stories. They had a lot of reporters on their payrolls. They routinely would produce stories out of the embassy and give them to these reporters and they would appear in the papers in Europe… I published the first book just saying that he worked for USIE and that this agency produced propaganda for the CIA. He went totally crazy after the book came out. One person who knew him told me then that he was going all up and down the East Coast having lunch with every editor he could think of saying that it was not true, he did not produce any propaganda. And he attacked me viciously and he said that I had falsely accused him of being a CIA agent. And the reaction was totally out of proportion to what I had said.” (13)

As well as having conversations with other editors, Ben Bradlee, contacted William Jovanovich and threatened legal action against the publisher. Bradlee later admitted: “I wrote a letter to Davis’s editor pointing out thirty-nine errors concerning the thirty-nine references to me.” (14) Just six weeks after the book’s release, over 20,000 copies were recalled and shredded even though it had already been nominated for an American Book Award. (15) As A. J. Liebling has pointed out, “freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one”.

I am lucky enough to own one of the copies of Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and the Washington Post that was published in 1979. I have checked the thirty-nine references to Bradlee in the book, and the vast majority of cases, the facts have been confirmed by the release of CIA documents and confessions of the people involved. This was substantiated when in 1987 Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and the Washington Post was published by Zenith Press. As the publisher pointed out: “This new, much-expanded and updated edition includes every word of the original plus new material on the post-Watergate years as well as documentary proof of Ms. Davis’s revelations about Post editor Ben Bradlee. Katharine the Great covers many of the major issues and characters of 20th century Washington. On a personal level, it includes the stark portrayal of the unravelling of Katharine’s husband Phil and an intimate view of the heights of power to which America’s most powerful woman has risen since Watergate.” Despite the so-called “thirty-nine errors” Bradlee made no effort to sue Davis or the publisher.

Bradlee Remembers

It was Ben Bradlee himself who confirmed most of what Deborah Davis had said in his autobiography, A Good Life: Newspapering and Other Adventures (1995). In the book he confessed that he had worked for Office of U.S. Information and Educational Exchange and had been involved in distributing CIA propaganda. He also admitted that Davis was right when she said that Robert Thayer, the CIA station chief in Paris, had paid him money to pay for travelling expenses. Bradlee described how “he (Thayer) reached nonchalantly into the bottom drawer of his desk and fished out enough francs to fly me to the moon.” (16)

However, the most surprising confession was that he had lied during the trial of Raymond Crump, the man accused of killing Mary Pinchot Meyer. Bradlee admitted in the book that he had searched for Meyer’s diary with James Jesus Angleton: “We (Bradlee and his wife) asked him (Angleton) how he’d gotten into the house, and he shuffled his feet. (Later, we learned that one of Jim’s nicknames inside the agency was ‘the Locksmith,’ and that he was known as a man who could pick his way into any house in town.) We felt his presence was odd, to say the least, but took him at his word, and with him we searched Mary’s house thoroughly. Without success. We found no diary. Later that day, we realized that we hadn’t looked for the diary in Mary’s studio, which was directly across a dead-end driveway from the garden behind our house. We had no key, but I got a few tools to remove the simple padlock, and we walked toward the studio, only to run into Jim Angleton again, this time actually in the process of picking the padlock. He would have been red-faced, if his face could have gotten red, and he left almost without a word. I unscrewed the hinge, and we entered the studio.” (17) However, according to Ron Rosenbaum, when he interviewed Angleton, he described Bradlee as a liar and denied he had ever been in Mary’s studio. (18)

Bradlee claims that his wife found the diary in a later search: “Much has been written about this diary-most of it wrong since its existence was first reported. Tony took it to our house, and we read it later that night. It was small (about 6″ x 8″) with fifty to sixty pages, most of them filled with paint swatches, and descriptions of how the colors were created and what they were created for. On a few pages, maybe ten in all, in the same handwriting but different pen, phrases described a love affair, and after reading only a few phrases it was clear that the lover had been the President of the United States, though his name was never mentioned. To say we were stunned doesn’t begin to describe our reactions. Tony, especially, felt betrayed, both by Kennedy and by Mary.” (19) It has been claimed that the Bradlee’s also found love letters sent by Kennedy to Meyer and these were destroyed. (20)

The following day Antoinette Pinchot Bradlee gave the diary to Angleton and expected him to destroy it: “But it turned out that Angleton did not destroy the document, for whatever perverse, or perverted, reasons. We didn’t learn this until some years later, when Tony asked him point blank how he had destroyed it. When he admitted he had not destroyed it, she demanded that he give it back, and when he did, she burned it, with a friend as witness. None of us has any idea what Angleton did with the diary while it was in his possession, nor why he failed to follow Mary and Tony’s instructions.” (21)

After the publication of his book, The Good Life (1995), Cicely d’Autremont Angleton and Anne Truitt wrote a letter to the New York Times Book Review to “correct what in our opinion is an error” in Bradlee’s autobiography: “This error occurs in Mr. Bradlee’s account of the discovery and disposition of Mary Pinchot Meyer’s personal diary. The fact is that Mary Meyer asked Anne Truitt to make sure that in the event of anything happening to Mary while Anne was in Japan, James Angleton take this diary into his safekeeping. When she learned that Mary had been killed, Anne Truitt telephoned person-to-person from Tokyo for James Angleton. She found him at Mr. Bradlee’s house, where Angleton and his wife, Cicely had been asked to come following the murder. In the phone call, relaying Mary Meyer’s specific instructions, Anne T’ruitt told Angleton for the first time, that there was a diary; and in accordance with Mary Meyer’s explicit request, Anne Truitt asked Angleton to search for and take charge of the diary.” (22)

At the trial of Raymond Crump, the man accused of killing Mary Pinchot Meyer, Bradlee was the first witness called to the stand. Alfred L. Hantman, the chief prosecutor, asked him under oath, what he found when he searched Mary’s studio. “Now besides the usual articles of Mrs. Meyer’s avocation, did you find there any other articles of her personal property?” Bradlee replied that he found a pocketbook, keys, wallet, cosmetics, and pencils. He did not tell the court that he found a diary that he had passed on to James Jesus Angleton. (23) In fact, Bradlee had committed a very important crime of joining with Angleton in the destruction of evidence relevant in a murder case. Strange behaviour from the man President Barack Obama said “set a standard for honest, objective, meticulous reporting”.

On 2nd December, 2011, The Washington Post published a letter from Angleton’s children. They also questioned the account provided by Ben Bradlee: “Anne Truitt, a friend of Tony Bradlee and Bradlee’s sister, Mary Meyer, was abroad when Meyer was killed in the District. Truitt called Bradlee and said that Meyer had asked her to request that Angleton retrieve mid burn certain pages of her diary if anything happened to her. James and Cicely Angleton were with Ben and Tony Bradlee at the Bradlees’ home when Tony Bradlee received the call. Cicely, our mother, told her daughter Guru Sangat Khalsa, “We all went to Mary’s house together.” She said there was no break-in because the Bradlees had a key. The diary was not found at that time. Later, Tony Bradlee found it and gave it to James Angleton. He burned the pages that Meyer had asked to be burned and put the rest in a safe. Years later, he gave the rest of the diary to Bradlee at her request.” (24)

Some researchers have questioned this account. Anne Truitt knew that Mary Pinchot Meyer was highly critical of the CIA covert activities. James Jesus Angleton would have been the last one Mary would have wanted to know about the diary. Peter Janney, the author of Mary’s Mosaic (2012) has argued that his research into the case suggests that it is highly unlikely that the Angleton’s children story is true: “Is it now to be believed not only that Mary Meyer entrusted the safekeeping of her diary to Jim Angleton, but that she had also specifically instructed him to ‘burn certain pages of her diary if anything happened to her’? Nothing could be further from the truth… It is not known (nor likely ever will be) how Angleton twisted the arm of Anne Truitt to declare that on the night of Mary’s murder she should call the Bradlees and inform them that such a diary existed and that Mary had told her to make sure Angleton took charge of it, should anything happen to her. The answer to the question of who called the Truitts in Tokyo to inform them of Mary’s demise now becomes more obvious: It was Angleton himself.” (25)

David Talbot has argued that Ben Bradlee’s account in his book “left more unexplained than answered”. 

[Editor’s note: Two paragraphs of material have been deleted because JFK Facts has already reported them. Click on the link above to review this material.]

The journalist, C. David Heymann, began writing a book that was eventually published as Georgetown Ladies’ Social Club (2004). The book concerned the group of women that had been part of this group that existed in the 1950s and 1960s. This included Mary Pinchot Meyer. Heymann became interested in her death and in February, 2001, he requested an interview with Cord Meyer, who at the time, was himself dying of lymphoma.

Heymann asked Meyer if he had told the truth in his book, Facing Reality: From World Federalism to the CIA (1980) when he said: “I was satisfied by the conclusions of the police investigation that Mary had been the victim of a sexually motivated assault by a single individual and that she had been killed in her struggle to escape.” (29).

Meyer replied: “My father died of a heart attack the same year Mary was killed, ” he whispered. “It was a bad time.”

And what could he say about Mary Meyer? Who had committed such a heinous crime?

“The same sons of bitches,” he hissed, “that killed John F. Kennedy.” (30)

(1) Robert G. Kaiser, The Washington Post (22nd October, 2014)

(2) The Daily Telegraph (22nd October, 2014)

(3) Christopher Reed, The Guardian (22nd October, 2014)

(4) Marilyn Berger, New York Times (22nd October, 2014)

(5) David Von Drehle, Time Magazine (21st October, 2014)

(6) Christopher Reed, The Guardian (22nd October, 2014)

(7) National Enquirer (23rd February, 1976)

(8) Nina Burleigh, A Very Private Woman (1998) page 286

(9) Howard Bray, The Pillars of the Post (1980) page 138

(10) Nina Burleigh, A Very Private Woman (1998) page 287

(11) Time Magazine (8th March, 1976)

(12) Nina Burleigh, A Very Private Woman (1998) page 288

(13) Kenn Thomas, Popular Alienation (1995) page 83

(14) Ben Bradlee, The Good Life (1995) page 138

(15) Peter Janney, Mary’s Mosaic (2012) page 75

(16) Ben Bradlee, The Good Life (1995) page 138

(17) Ben Bradlee, The Good Life (1995) page 267

(18) Ron Rosenbaum and Phillip Nobile, New Times (9th July, 1976)

(19) Ben Bradlee, The Good Life (1995) page 268

(20) Bernie Ward and Granville Toogood, National Enquirer (2nd March, 1976)

(21) Ben Bradlee, The Good Life (1995) page 271

(22) Cicely d’Autremont Angleton and Anne Truitt, letter to the New York Times Book Review (5th November, 1995)

(23) Trial transcript (20th July, 1965) page 47

(24) Letter to The Washington Post (2nd December, 2011)

(25) Peter Janney, Mary’s Mosaic (2012) page 79

(26) David Talbot, Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years (2007) page 203

(27) Robert G. Kaiser, Rolling Stone (24th April, 1975)

(28) David Talbot, Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years (2007) page 391

(29) Cord Meyer, Facing Reality: From World Federalism to the CIA (1980) page 34

(30) C. David Heymann, Georgetown Ladies’ Social Club (2004) page 168

31 thoughts on “JFK postscript: CIA intrigue enveloped Bradlee and Angleton”

  1. Diane Roberts Powell

    What I would love to know is this; given Kennedy’s terrible back problems, and his resulting chronic pain from it, how in the hell was he physically able to bed all of the women he’s been accused of having affairs with? (In pre-Viagra times, no less). I’m sure he was no angel, but something is off about that theory.

    1. I seem to agree with your analysis. Especially given the number of times he traveled from one place to another. There is only so many hours in a 1000 day plus career. Mrs Lincoln would have been a great resource. Of course pre-president days who knows.

  2. For a deeper insight to all of this, Sam Truitt’s cryptic “DICK” reveals much, if the layers are read separately and with great care. Good luck, codebreakers. Well worth the effort. More will be revealed as the lies are removed, one-by-one, then two-by-two. Put on your Scull caps and THINK!

  3. John – yes I do, given the post-assassination sources and the COMPLETE failure of anyone to come up with, as I said, third party corroboration. Something isn’t so just because we think it’s so. People are constantly demanding that conspiracy researchers give evidence – and they DO, with multiple sources of confirmation. It’s too bad our standards are not as high when we consider JFK’s imaginary sex life. Once again, show me the proof from multiple sides and sources that are not either CIA assets, isolated statements without witness, or discredited journalists.

  4. meant to a add – as for JFK’s womanizing, please note that in ALL reports we see of this, not just this one, we NEVER see a third party corroboration of any of his so-called affairs, unless it is a CIA or other intelligence source. This tells us a LOT.

  5. Peter Janney’s gratuitous attack on Lisa Pease and Jim DiEugenio, two researchers of absolute integrity, needs to be countered. And to call Jim a sycophant? Agree with him or not, but he is one of the most independent writers I have ever read; possibly Peter does not know what the word means. Jim’s views are his own, and derived from intensive research. Same with Lisa.

  6. From my understanding of Mr. Bradlee’s background, I’d think it safe to say he had a long involvement with “informing the public” at the behest of others.
    He was an active part of the VoA “propaganda” machine, and would certainly have been aware of the premise, intent and existence of Mockingbird.

  7. Hi Lisa,

    I’m sure it was accidental on your part, but I’m not involved in the dispute with Peter Janney’s book. I think you’re referring to John Simkin.

    I will say it is important to get the word about Heymann and Douglass and the myriad problems about using them as sources.

    Bill Simpich

    1. Nathaniel Heidenheimer

      Gregory Douglass? We must not allow any more sideswipes at James W. Douglass. Of course that was not your intent, but I still find it noteworthy that the list of best books on the JFK Assassination is not printed on JFKFacts along with the rest of the best of lists.

      I also find it noteworthy that most references to the book make it seem like it is a theological or religious meditation. In fact, it is about 1% related to religious figures, namely Thomas Merton, whose role was that of a public intellectual. Fitting that it was played by a Trappist monk. Says a lot about how frozen discourse was in the Cold War, though compared with today’s internet silos it was Socrates in the town square.

      1. Jim Douglass says that the major character in his book and the JFK story is God. It is understandable to me that researchers would steer clear of it.
        For people like me with theological suspicions it is a remarkable book even if given to sentimentality on one or two occasions.
        Theology and “Conspiracy Theory” have some things in common.

    2. Apologies, Bill – it was a typo. Yes, I meant Simkin in all cases in my response. (As I typed that, I typed Simpich again and saw it before I hit post. My fingers like your name, evidently!) Anyone who cites any work of Heymann loses credibility, and I didn’t meant to smear you with that unfairly.

  8. From what I’ve read previously I just assumed Bradlee was a Mockingbird agent and beholdin’ to the company.
    His association with JJA of the CIA only confirms this.

  9. So Hayman is a liar and Mary Meyer may have had an affair with JFK. So what. The basic fact is she was silenced. The accused probably didn’t do it for a number of reasons, not least of which a top spook himself is committing a felony digging around her house before the body is cold. The story that Angleton was motivated by knowledge of a salacious diary is b.s. for a number of reasons, once again it is absurd that Angleton would take the action he did himself (as opposed to a flunky) out of curiosity as to whether two dead people were having an affair. To suggest that he committed a burglary to find a diary he would expose anyway seems strained. Isn’t it obvious he is looking for some kind of manuscript he needs suppressed? Can there be any other explanation for his actions?

    1. The basic fact is she was silenced.

      You really need to ask the question “what would she know that was dangerous to any conspiracy?”

      Did JFK know about his own forthcoming assassination?

      Cord Meyer was long since estranged from her. And even if not, would he have given details of an assassination plot to a semi-beatnik Georgetown artist?

  10. It’s clear to me, having studied not only the JFK assassination but especially the Post’s coverage of Watergate, that Bradlee covered for the CIA on numerous occasions. But this is perhaps the least substantial attack that could have been made.

    The problem here is that Simkin gives all sources equal weight, when several of them are far less credible than others. For example, For example, C. David Heymann has been exposed over and over and OVER as a complete fabricator who waits for people to die and then claims he had interviews with them. Donna Morel, a lawyer in San Diego who has done immense research on this, has given me a ton of data in this regard. She’s even been able to prove a few sources “quoted” in Heymann’s books never even existed!

    The most recent expose was a cover story in Newsweek, by David Cay Johnson with help from Donna Morel just recently. All researchers must read it: http://www.newsweek.com/2014/09/05/c-david-heymanns-career-serial-fabulist-266876.html. I had previously written my own observations re the ridiculousness of Heymann’s claims here: http://realhistoryarchives.blogspot.com/2014/07/of-c-david-heymann-lies-and-truths.html

    Given Angleton’s role in the Kennedy assassination story, and given his access to media assets (non of a higher profile than the self-professed protege Edward Epstein) that Angleton would not have leaked proof of a Kennedy affair if he had it.

    Simpich also quotes from Janney, whose work relied on Heymann and another fabricator, the self-proclaimed forger Gregory Douglass. Both my piece on the flaws of this book and Jim DiEugenio’s parallel expose on Janney’s fallacies can be found here: http://www.ctka.net/reviews/Pease_Janney_Mary's_Mosaic.html

    My biggest beef with the research community is that people don’t realize that not everything in nonfiction books is actually true. This piece would have been much stronger had he focused solely on credible sources and focused on Bradlee’s lies, which are easily shown, without putting in the weeds of the Mary Meyers story , which, to use one of Angleton’s phrases, “muddies the waters,” making the truth harder to see.

    1. Thank you, Lisa Pease!

      I wish you posted here more often, to offer well thought out counterpoints to Photon and Prof. McAdams.

      To grab a quote from you above: “My biggest beef with the research community is that people don’t realize that not everything in nonfiction books is actually true.”
      This should be repeated by anyone digging into the JFK assassination. Applying rigorous academic standards regarding research and credible sources should be universally applied, along with a healthy dose of skepticism and critical thinking, whatever one is studying: JFK’s assassination, climate change, etc.

    2. One again, Lisa Pease tries to dazzle us (and herself ) with what she thinks are credible statements. If she had actually (and thoroughly) read my book, she would have come across the sentence that reads: “. . .Heymann’s credibility has been seriously called into question over the years.7 Visiting his New York residence, I gently inquired whether he had taped his interview with Cord. He hadn’t. When I finally confronted him, he became defensive and insulting. Several days later he left me a voicemail, saying, “I’m beginning to think you’re working for the CIA. . .”

      And then along with her sycophant sidekick Jim DiEugenio she wants us to believe that everything they write must be the gospel truth, and anyone who dare questions them should be put to the gallows (see: https://www.lewrockwell.com/2012/07/peter-janney/the-autodaf-of-lisa-pease-and-jamesdieugenio-tomas-de-torquemada-and-the-spanish-inquisition-return-in-a-new-era-of-suppression-of-freedom-of-thought-and-adherence-to-a-rigid-dogma-namely-thei/)

      In the name of ignorance, why do people listen to such nonsense ?

      1. Maybe it’s just too hot a potato. They had to write something to stay relevant (and perhaps coax a little more information out of you if possible) but perhaps understandable if they are a bit reticent to walk down that particular towpath. It appears to be a dangerous one after all.

      2. In 2007, I called David Heymann and asked him if he was a serial liar. He said “yes.”*
        This confirmed what I’d heard in a seance with Truman Capote.**

        *2007 phone call with David Heymann.
        **2006 seance with Truman Capote.

        (An attempt at humor)

    3. “My biggest beef with the research community is that people don’t realize that not everything in nonfiction books is actually true.”

      I agree.

  11. I remember a comment from Larry king answering a question why he wasn’t asking GHW Bush questions about kitty kellys bio about him and Larry’s answer was that he valued his access to the bush family and didn’t want to jeopardize it. This is their living and they know who can make or break there career. Bradley was know different

  12. Bradley like others who have achieved fame and success (think also of Charlie Rose, Chris Matthews and the O’Reilly) are more concerned about preserving their status and the system that provided them with their success as well as not pissing off sponsors or their employers. Oreilly’s case is particularly egregious example since as a cub reporter he was busy trying to make a name for himself getting to the bottom of the assassination.

  13. For someone who was supposedly JFK’s friend–and wrote a book exploiting that friendship, I often thought Bradley failed as a friend to wonder why-and how-JFK was killed. His actions with Mary Meyers diary has the smell of deceit and his refusal to address the issue at Crump’s trial only compounded that deception. When I read in “Katherine the Great” of his CIA background, I was reminded of Woodward’s work with naval intelligence and started to doubt the Watergate-as-great-journalism angle.Operation Mockingbird was echoing to me all during his funeral news.

    1. Eric Hollingsworth

      Can’t remember where I read it, but I read somewhere that Woodward and Berstein basically transcribed the Watergate story from the results of a Congressional investigation. In other words, they copied the story from the seldom-read public record. Deep Throat would sell a lot more newspapers though.

      1. You may be thinking of Max Holland’s viewpoint that: “Ultimately, it was the work of the Watergate grand jury and these prosecutors — not the press — that produced a road map to all the criminal cases by the time a special prosecutor was appointed in May 1973.” (October 2014 Newsweek article.) http://www.newsweek.com/2014/10/17/many-sources-behind-woodward-and-bernsteins-deep-throat-276291.html. The Newsweek article refers to a “document — a draft of a Woodstein story from January 1973 — [that] was buried deep within the papers of Alan J. Pakula, director of the eponymous 1976 Hollywood film based on Woodstein’s best-seller.” As for Bradlee and the inside-the-beltway culture that accommodated the intelligence “community,” if I recall correctly, Bradlee autobiographically admits that the tip from Richard Helms that Newsweek was up for sale ultimately made Bradlee a wealthy man for the first time, changing his life. Whereas JFK’s family were viewed as nouveau riche by the Boston Brahmin set, Bradlee had the Becon Street-Harvard pedigree but not the financial resources. After the tip from Helms, Bradlee convinced Phil Graham, as the story goes, to buy Newsweek, and Graham rewarded Bradlee with stock in the Washington Post. Following the acquisition of Newsweek by the Post, Bradlee was financially set for life.

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