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Joseph Alsop


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#1 John Geraghty

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Posted 19 December 2004 - 02:41 PM

I was reading 'The Last Patrician, Bobby Kennedy and the end of the American Aristocracy' when I came accross Joseph Alsop who was a rich columnist. Alsop was also good friends with Ed Lansdale and also supported Jack Kennedy for president.
Has anybody got any other information on him?

#2 John Simkin

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 09:50 AM

Joseph Alsop was born in Avon, Connecticut on 11th October, 1910. After graduating from Harvard University in 1932 he joined the New York Herald Tribune as a staff reporter. He began a political column in 1937 under the title “The Capital Parade”. It was later renamed “Matter of Fact.”

After the Second World War Alsop became an important political journalist. Alsop lived in Washington where he associated with a group of journalists, politicians and government officials that became known as the Georgetown Set. This included Frank Wisner, George Kennan, Dean Acheson, Richard Bissell, Desmond FitzGerald, Stewart Alsop (his brother), Tracy Barnes, Thomas Braden, Philip Graham, David Bruce, Clark Clifford, Walt Rostow, Eugene Rostow, Chip Bohlen, Cord Meyer, James Angleton, William Averill Harriman, John McCloy, Felix Frankfurter, John Sherman Cooper, James Reston, Allen W. Dulles and Paul Nitze.

Alsop's articles appeared in over 300 newspapers. Alsop was a Cold War warrior but was a critic of Joseph McCarthy. In 1957, during his first and only visit to the Soviet Union, Joe was entrapped by the KGB in a Moscow hotel room in a compromising situation with another man. Photographs were taken but were never used.

Alsop held liberal views on domestic issues but was a conservative on foreign issues and supported the war against Vietnam. He was also the author of FDR (1982).

Joseph Alsop died in Washington on 28th August, 1989. His autobiography, I've Seen the Best of It, was published posthumously in 1992.

http://www.spartacus...uk/JFKalsop.htm

Alsop has several links with JFK. For example, he was one of the first members of the Georgetown to support JFK (in 1960 they tended to be LBJ supporters). It is also believed that Alsop played a role in the deal that persuaded JFK to accept LBJ as his vice president.

According to Carl Bernstein, CIA and the Media, Rolling Stone Magazine (20th October, 1977) Alsop was a key figure in Operation Mockingbird. This view is supported by Katharine Graham (Personal History, 1997). He was always willing to print pro-CIA articles fed to him by Frank Wisner.

Alsop worked with the CIA over the reporting of both the Bay of Pigs and the Vietnam War. I suspect he did the same over the reporting of the assassination of JFK.

#3 Sterling Seagrave

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 04:31 PM

The last time I was in touch with Pawley was in 1961 after he'd fled Cuba with his crony Meyer Lansky, and Pawley was living in Miami as owner of the Transit Company. Pawley was always one of the key links of Tommy the Cork, Donovan, the Dulles brothers, and that whole bunch of nutbags, between the OSS/CIA, Meyer Lansky, and the KMT underworld, as represented by General Tai Li in Chungking, the Ku brothers, and the Chen brothers (all top Green Gang cadres of Du Yueh-sheng). One Ku brother became chief of staff of the KMT armies, while the other ran the Green Gang in Shanghai and the Yangtze Valley during the Jap occupation. One Chen brother controlled the KMT bureaucracy while the other controlled the secret police. Chennault was immersed in all this, Tai Li supplying him with Anna as a sleeping dictionary. That penultimate scumbag joe Alsop was Chennault's flack in Chungking. I have seen the evidence that Alsop was paid by TV Soong and May-ling Soong to draft the poison pen letter to FDR signed by Chiang Kai-shek, which resulted in Stilwell's recall and humiliation. As an officer in the US Army under Stilwell, Alsop should have been court martialed for treason. The evidence is in Alsop's own diary, part of the papers he left to a guy in the Agency.

#4 John Simkin

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 08:09 AM

That penultimate scumbag Joe Alsop was Chennault's flack in Chungking. I have seen the evidence that Alsop was paid by TV Soong and May-ling Soong to draft the poison pen letter to FDR signed by Chiang Kai-shek, which resulted in Stilwell's recall and humiliation. As an officer in the US Army under Stilwell, Alsop should have been court martialed for treason. The evidence is in Alsop's own diary, part of the papers he left to a guy in the Agency.


I did not know that Alsop was in China at this time. He later worked under Phil Graham in Operation Mockingbird.

http://www.spartacus...mockingbird.htm

Have you read Carl Bernstein's article, CIA and the Media, Rolling Stone Magazine (20th October, 1977)? It includes the following passage:

In 1953, Joseph Alsop, then one of America’s leading syndicated columnists, went to the Philippines to cover an election. He did not go because he was asked to do so by his syndicate. He did not go because he was asked to do so by the newspapers that printed his column. He went at the request of the CIA.

Alsop is one of more than 400 American journalists who in the past twenty-five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency, according to documents on file at CIA headquarters. Some of these journalists’ relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were explicit. There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services — from simple intelligence­ gathering to serving as go-betweens with spies in Communist countries. Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors-without-portfolio for their country. Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested it the derring-do of the spy business as in filing articles, and, the smallest category, full-time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad. In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements America’s leading news organizations.


#5 Michael Hogan

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 04:48 PM

From artinfo.com

Q&A: Playwright David Auburn on “The Columnist,” Joseph Alsop, and a Cold War Sex Scandal That Never Quite Was

Excerpts:

How was he able to navigate under that pressure?
He was an extraordinary egomaniac who had tremendous enthusiasm for the work, knowing powerful people, and exercising his influence. He lived to inhabit and charm that world very aware of his ability not just to discuss policy but to effect it. We discovered a recording [from the Lyndon Johnson presidential tapes] in which Alsop is on the phone with Johnson just after the Kennedy assassination. They are talking about what would eventually become the Warren Commission Report. And Johnson can’t get a word in edgewise! Alsop keeps interrupting the President of the United States — “No, no, Lyndon, you don’t understand …” He had that kind of power.

And:

What was the turning point?
The Kennedy assassination. He had been at the zenith of his power, his golden period. He had backed this horse and the horse had come in. And then this incredible loss pushed him in a direction that was more and more inflexible and more and more intolerant of other opinions. The tragedy is that someone so smart and knowledgeable, who had so much access and wielded such influence, could become so wedded to a disastrous idea [the Vietnam War]. The idea of writing about someone whose political opinions are so different from mine appealed to me but I didn’t want to write about someone who I just despised or found uncongenial. Many aspects of him were courageous and admirable

And:

To what extent is your play a cautionary tale about being “inside the citadel,” as you put it?
Well, if you look at the run up to the Iraq War, the people who got it right, who came out looking good, were the mid-level journalists, the Knight-Ridder journalists and editors, who were interviewing the mid-level CIA analysts and people closer to the ground. The people who were getting their information from top sources ended up looking very foolish. Joe only identified and worked with generals and cabinet heads and that warped his perspective. I could gas off but the play doesn’t have a polemical intent.

Is there someone of his power and stature out there today?
No. That’s one of the interesting thing about Alsop’s period. You really had a handful of newspaper columnists who spoke with real authority and with the object of influencing not just opinion but policy. That’s simply not true anymore and that’s a good thing. Opinion has become so atomized and democratized by the web and the decline of newspapers.

Complete interview: http://artinfo.com/n...never-quite-was

Alsop's 11/25/1963 phone conversation with President Lyndon Johnson: http://www.history-m...op_11-25-63.htm

Rex Bradford describes it:

In this lengthy conversation, influential Post columnist Joe Alsop first listens to President Johnson complain about "some of the lawyers...at Justice" who are lobbying for a Presidential Commission, saying "...we just can't have them lobbying against the President, when he makes these decisions." Then Alsop argues, cajoles, and invokes the name of Dean Acheson in his persistent attempts to get Johnson to change his mind. The edited transcript of this conversation in Michael Beschloss' "Taking Charge" omits all but one reference to Acheson's name, but the full transcript makes clear that Alsop is calling on behalf of the elder statesman and former Secretary of State. Johnson agrees that he will "call Dean," though there is no recording of such a call in the LBJ Library archives (not all calls were recorded).

#6 David Andrews

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 09:38 PM

David Auburn: The tragedy is that someone so smart and knowledgeable, who had so much access and wielded such influence, could become so wedded to a disastrous idea [the Vietnam War].

Which makes one wonder if Alsop's pressuring of Johnson for a presidential commission on the assassination is the result of Alsop's being the mouthpiece for anyone other than Dean Acheson.

#7 Douglas Caddy

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 11:45 PM

http://en.wikipedia....ki/Joseph_Alsop

#8 John Simkin

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:32 AM

In 1957, during his first and only visit to the Soviet Union, Joe Alsop was entrapped by the KGB in a Moscow hotel room. According to Evan Thomas, the author of The Very Best Men: The Early Years of the CIA (1995): "Alsop foolishly allowed himself to be caught in a honey trap by the KGB on a trip to Moscow in 1957. The Russians took photos of Alsop in the midst of a homosexual act with a KGB agent and tried to blackmail him into becoming an agent." Edwin Yoder has argued in his book, Joe Alsop's Cold War: A Study of Journalistic Influence and Intrigue (1995), that the existence of these photographs did not stop Alsop from continuing to denounce the Soviet Union. However, twelve years later Alsop discovered that the photographs had come into the possession of J. Edgar Hoover.

http://www.spartacus...uk/JFKalsop.htm




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