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Is Donald Graham the real problem at the Washington Post?

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The fish rots from the head down.

It really doesn't, I hear, but that's the saying. And from my experience in the workplace, while the fish may not rot that way, organizations very much do. If you have a problem with an institution, nine times out of ten the real problem is the person heading the institution.

Which brings us to Donald Graham, the CEO and chairman of the board of the Washington Post Company.

I've had a growing sense, or suspicion, rather, that while Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt is clearly a pro-Bush neo-conservative not interested in the truth, perhaps Hiatt's uber-conservative leanings weren't a fluke, or an aberration. Perhaps Hiatt is doing exactly what his boss, Donald Graham (Hiatt reports directly to Graham), wants him to do - bring the Washington Post lurching to the far-right.

So I did a little reading on Donald Graham. And it appears that he may very well be the root of the Fred Hiatt problem (Graham hired Hiatt). From the Columbia Journalism Review:

Friends say that Graham has grown increasingly conservative in recent years, and that the op-ed page — which features Robert Novak, Charles Krauthammer, and George Will as regular columnists — is not inconsistent with his own views. What is clear is that it’s a page in which conservative voices are very strong and liberal voices are very weak.
The Washington Post: The Hannity & Colmes of newspapers.

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