Saturday, December 8, 2007

Richard Helms - Ben Bradlee Connection

The 1961 deal that Ben Bradlee set up, which enabled the Meyer-Graham Dynasty's Washington Post Company to purchase Newsweek from the Vincent Astor Foundation and former New York Governor Harriman, was arranged and financed in such a way that David Halberstan describe it as "one of the great steals of contemporary journalism" in his book The Powers That Be. The same book noted that, although the official 1961 selling price for Newsweek was $15 million, "in the end no more than $75,000 really changed hands." For arranging the deal that brought Newsweek into the Washington Post media conglomerate's stable, Bradlee received a finder's fee.

The grandfather of former Central Intelligence Agency Director Richard McGarrah Helms, an international financier named Gates White McGarrah, "was a member of the board of directors of the Astor Foundation which owned Newsweek prior to tis sale to the Washington Post Company in 1961, according to Katharine The Great by Deborah Davis. The same book also revealed that in 1961 Bradlee "is said to have heard from his friend Richard Helms, who heard it from his grandfather that Newsweek would be put up for sale." Bradlee then obtained a check from the Washington Post Company head at the time, Philip Graham, for $1 million, to give to former CIA Director Helms' grandfather as a downpayment for the purchase of Newsweek.

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