Who is Sally Quinn?

By Jeffrey Lord

Caveat: Jeffrey Lord, a far-right conservative propagandist who writes for the fascist American Spectator, is the creator, co-founder and CEO of QubeTV, a conservative online video site. A Reagan White House political director and author, he writes from Pennsylvania. I've excised Mr. Lord's tiring disparagements of the "liberal media," and culled from his story information on Sally Quinn, leaving the manipulative rhetoric to his gullible "conservative" fans. - AC

Sally Quinn, doyenne of the Washington Post and the Georgetown social set as well as the wife of legendary former Post Executive Editor Ben Bradlee, has taken out after Governor Palin. ...

Sally Quinn with Ben Bradlee

JUST WHO IS SALLY QUINN? ... From the pages of her husband Ben Bradlee's memoir The Good Life, one can glean a lot about not only Ms. Quinn ...

Sally Quinn, according to Ben, first came to his attention when she was "introduced to me after [a Post executive] interviewed her for a job as secretary to the editorial page editor." What did Bradlee, the powerful executive editor, think of Ms. Quinn and her professional abilities? "I advised him against hiring her, and not just because she couldn't take shorthand. Speaking for myself, I suggested to Phil that anyone that attractive could make work difficult." So, on the basis of her looks, Ms. Quinn was not hired because Mr. Bradlee believed he could not cope were she to be in his vicinity.

But fear not! A "month or so later" when the Post was looking for "someone to cover parties" in Washington, "Sally Quinn's name resurfaced." She was, Bradlee tells us, "perfectly suited for the job." Perfectly suited, that is, "except for one small problem." The problem? "[S]he had never written a word in her life." So. The hot-looking Ms. Quinn, whose looks Bradlee says could make his working life "difficult," gets hired to write at the Washington Post, one of the most prestigious and powerful papers of the day. Even though Sally not only can't take shorthand but can't write either. Says Bradlee: "Nobody's perfect." 

Soon, our heroine is grinding it out. Bradlee cites a paragraph from one of his favorite Sally pieces:

"On the Washington Affair: For the mistress there is the pleasure of having and exerting power over a man who is powerful himself. For the wife there is the title, the social status and the money. And for the man himself, there is the satisfaction of having his needs met by two women. In the Washington Affair there is something for everyone.

Got it. What happens next?

Says Ben: "...I had reached another one of those critical forks in the road. One way involved staying with Tony [that would be Tony Pinchot Bradlee, Ben's wife], the woman I had once loved, the mother of two of my children, and trying to rekindle happiness. The other way involved recognizing that I had fallen in love, and that meant exploring a different life with Sally...." What did Ben do? "My solution was to move into a hotel for a month and then into an apartment in the Watergate complex. Sally joined me there..." You have to love that last line. Bradlee makes it sound like hot Sally was just a young associate getting a new office in the town's leading white shoe law firm or leading business. In a way, she was.

We find that right under Bradlee's nose, his pal JFK was not only trysting with a mobster's girlfriend, he was having a fling with Bradlee's own sister-in-law, Mary Pinchot Meyer. Not quite a year after JFK's murder in Dallas, on October 12, 1964, with the Johnson-Goldwater campaign consuming the headlines, Mary Meyer was mysteriously shot to death as she walked along a canal towpath in Georgetown.

There was a diary, as we now know with no thanks to Ben. A diary Mary Meyer -- who was separated from a CIA official -- kept and that was being sought by one James Jesus Angleton, described in Ben's memoirs as "an extremely controversial, high-ranking CIA official specializing in counterintelligence." The startled Bradlees came upon Mr. Angleton rummaging through Mary's home the day after she was murdered, having apparently gained entrance by picking a lock. Then, later, they encountered him again, this second time in the act of picking a lock to get into her studio. Angleton didn't get his hands on the diary -- but Ben and his wife did. What was in sister-in law Mary's diary? The revelation that Mary had been having the hot and heavy affair with JFK. That the President of the United States and his mistress, Ben's sister-in-law, had met "twenty to thirty times in the White House" and "that they had smoked grass (three joints) on one occasion." ...


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