Skip to comments.Pulitzer-winning Lies (from The New York Times)
Posted on 06/12/2003 11:35:37 AM PDT by DPB101
AT LONG LAST a Pulitzer Prize committee is looking into the possibility that the Pulitzer awarded to Walter Duranty, the New York Times Moscow correspondent whose dispatches covered up Stalin's infamies, might be revoked.
In order to assist in their researches, I am downloading here some of the lies contained in those dispatches, lies which the New York Times has never repudiated with the same splash as it accorded Jayson Blair's comparatively trivial lies:
"There is no famine or actual starvation nor is there likely to be." --New York Times, Nov. 15, 1931, page 1
"Any report of a famine in Russia is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda." --New York Times, August 23, 1933
"Enemies and foreign critics can say what they please. Weaklings and despondents at home may groan under the burden, but the youth and strength of the Russian people is essentially at one with the Kremlin's program, believes it worthwhile and supports it, however hard be the sledding." --New York Times, December 9, 1932, page 6
"You can't make an omelet without breaking eggs." --New York Times, May 14, 1933, page 18
"There is no actual starvation or deaths from starvation but there is widespread mortality from diseases due to malnutrition." --New York Times, March 31, 1933, page 13
I would like to add another Duranty quote, not in his dispatches, which is reported in a memoir by Zara Witkin, a Los Angeles architect, who lived in the Soviet Union during the 1930s. ("An American Engineer in Stalin's Russia: The Memoirs of Zara Witkin, 1932-1934," University of California Press ). The memoirist describes an evening during which the Moscow correspondents were discussing how to get out the story about the Stalin-made Russian famine. To get around the censorship, the UP's Eugene Lyons was telephoning the dire news of the famine to his New York office but the was ordered to stop because it was antagonizing the Kremlin. Ralph Barnes, the New York Herald Tribune reporter, turned to Duranty and asked him what he was going to write. Duranty replied:
Nothing. What are a few million dead Russians in a situation like this? Quite unimportant. This is just an incident in the sweeping historical changes here. I think the entire matter is exaggerated.
And this was at a time when peasants in Ukraine were dying of starvation at the rate of 25,000 a day.
In his masterwork about Stalin's imposed famine on Ukraine, "Harvest of Sorrow," Robert Conquest has written:
As one of the best known correspondents in the world for one of the best known newspapers in the world, Mr. Duranty's denial that there was a famine was accepted as gospel. Thus Mr. Duranty gulled not only the readers of the New York Times but because of the newspaper's prestige, he influenced the thinking of countless thousands of other readers about the character of Josef Stalin and the Soviet regime. And he certainly influenced the newly-elected President Roosevelt to recognize the Soviet Union.
What is so awful about Duranty is that Times top brass suspected that Duranty was writing Stalinist propaganda, but did nothing. In her exposé "Stalin's Apologist: Walter Duranty, the New York Times's man in Moscow," S.J. Taylor makes it clear that Carr Van Anda, the managing editor, Frederick T. Birchall, an assistant managing editor, and Edwin L. James, the later managing editor, were troubled with Duranty's Moscow reporting but did nothing about it. Birchall recommended that Duranty be replaced but, says Taylor, "the recommendation fell by the wayside."
When Duranty of his own volition decided to become a special correspondent on a retainer basis for the New York Times, the newspaper published an editorial reassuring its readers that his reputation as "the most outstanding correspondent of an American newspaper during all the years of his faithful and brilliant work at Moscow will remain unimpaired in the slightest degree by the change now made." This about a man whom Malcolm Muggeridge, the Manchester Guardian correspondent and Duranty's contemporary, described as "the greatest liar of any journalist I have met in fifty years of journalism."
Duranty was one of a gaggle of Stalin's intellectual admirers. Muggeridge, whose tercentenary we celebrate this summer, wrote about them in these lapidary words:
Wise old [Bernard]Shaw, high-minded old [Henri]Barbusse, the venerable [Sidney and Beatrice] Webbs, [Andre] Gide the pure in heart and [Pablo] Picasso the impure, down to poor little teachers, crazed clergymen and millionaires, driveling dons and very special correspondents like Duranty, all resolved, come what might, to believe anything, however preposterous, to overlook nothing, however villainous, to approve anything, however obscurantist and brutally authoritarian, in order to be able to preserve intact the confident expectation that one of the most thorough-going, ruthless and bloody tyrannies ever to exist on earth could be relied on to champion human freedom, the brotherhood of man, and all the other good liberal causes to which they had dedicated their lives. ("Chronicles of Wasted Time," pages 275- 276.)
Let's all give a great encouraging cheer to the Pulitzer committee for undertaking a task 70 years late. And perhaps the Times will now a look back at the Herbert L. Matthews coverage of Cuba and the man he so admired, Fidel Castro.
The Western Mail is still in business and published this article today on Duranty and Jones:
My mom is 85. She reregistered as a Republican when she was 78 (Clinton did that) and I had to tell her Duranty was not the person she thought he was. She is so mad at the BS she was sold, she may live for ever. Or at least until there are no more members of her former party alive.
Snowballs and ice skating in HELL ? I'm delighted ... tickled pink !
Hurrah for your mother. It's NEVER too late, apparently. :-)
They asked for 'tips' and guess what...they got 'em'. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch. Only problem is, as you've been pointing out for several weeks, they did a lot of damage through the years ... with no accountability.
Congrats to your Mom. Maybe a little encouragement from her son? LOL.
Forget Skull and Bones, Prescott Bush, his two companions and Geronimo's skull. There is a virtual catacomb of skulls to collect in the morgue of the New York Times.
UP's Eugene Lyons was telephoning the dire news of the famine to his New York office but the was ordered to stop because it was antagonizing the Kremlin. Ralph Barnes, the New York Herald Tribune reporter, turned to Duranty and asked him what he was going to write.
Duranty replied: Nothing. What are a few million dead Russians in a situation like this? Quite unimportant. This is just an incident in the sweeping historical changes here. I think the entire matter is exaggerated.
This was at a time when peasants in Ukraine were dying of starvation at the rate of 25,000 a day.
At this time the NY Slimes is ignoring the mass murders of 6 million innocent Iraqis by their buddy $oddomite, so they can play up the non issue of no WMDs "yet"!
I will spend the rest of my life calling to account those who lied to me when I was a kid.
All the other Duranty quotes appear to be outright lies and yet this is simply an old expression I've heard in other contexts many times. How is this quote a lie?
Now there's a comforting thought.
Looks like Duranty was being protected by the publisher. Did Arthur Hays Sulzberger have some business interest in Stalin's Soviet Union?
Passing it on.
The democrats made a huge mistake. They should have euthanized us before we got away.
Now they have to deal with thousands of us who:
1. Were trained by them.
2. Know how they operate.
3. Have vowed to get even for being made to look like fools.
I never believe in the cause but was affected in even a worse way--demoralized. America was no good, there was no point in trying to get ahead because the system was rigged. You know the script I am sure.
My parents were Democrats but solid anticommunists and Cold Warriors. But from elementary school on my teachers preached that the Soviet Union was not a real threat. What I learned at home was mocked at school.
Do you have any idea where I can find the text of Duranty's articles in the New York Times?