Skip to comments.N.Y. Times agrees 1932 Pulitzer Prize was not deserved
Posted on 10/23/2003 6:32:29 AM PDT by Tumbleweed_ConnectionEdited on 10/29/2003 3:24:55 PM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]
The executive editor of the New York Times said Wednesday that the paper has no objection if the Pulitzer Prize board wants to revoke an award granted to one of its reporters 71 years ago.
Stepping into a simmering controversy over whether Walter Duranty deserved the prize for his largely favorable reporting on Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union, Bill Keller said the paper has notified the board that the Times considers Duranty's work "pretty dreadful ... It was a parroting of propaganda."
In other words, the NYT is bowing to the inevitable.
How stupid ARE these people?
I found this form letter at http://duranty.pelechm.com/
The Board of the
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Board:
We urge you to revoke the Pulitzer Prize granted to Walter Duranty in 1932 for his articles in 1931 on conditions in the Soviet Union, particularly the implementation of the Five-Year Plan.
We urge this revocation for two reasons:
1. Duranty's dispatches from the Soviet Union as a full-time reporter for the New York Times from the early 1920s to 1934 and part-time till 1940 were repetitions of Soviet propaganda. Duranty covered up the excesses and crimes of the regime. The result was that large parts of the public in the West were misled about the true nature of the Soviet regime.
In June 1931, Duranty admitted to A.W. Klieforth of the US Embassy in Berlin that, "'in agreement with The New York Times and the Soviet authorities,'" his official dispatches always reflect the official opinion of the Soviet regime and not his own'. (Cited in Leonard Leshuk, US Intelligence Perceptions of Soviet Power 1921-46. London, Frank Cass Publishers, 2003). Thus by the time that he wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning articles on the Five-Year Plan he was writing as a propagandist for the Soviet Union.
2. Duranty followed his Pulitzer Prize with even more unethical and unprofessional conduct by mostly ignoring the Famine in Ukraine and the Caucasus in 1932 and then in 1933 actively denying it and denouncing reporters who mentioned it as liars. This denial covered up the Soviet genocide of several million people.
In brief, Durantys dispatches were a fraud, and Duranty actively denied genocide. The refusal of previous Boards to revoke Durantys Prize is extremely insulting and offensive to all the nationalities that suffered and died from Joseph Stalins crimes, which Duranty did his utmost to conceal. We urge the Board to show ethical and professional integrity and to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Famine of 1932-1933 by removing Walter Duranty from the ranks of those who have achieved "journalism's highest honor," as The New York Times has called the Pulitzer Prizes.
Not much has changed at the Times. Dreadful is an apt description of their work but they have been struggling recently to create original propaganda.
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