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Pulitzer-winning Lies (from The New York Times)
The Weekly Standard ^ | 6/12/03 | Arnold Beichman

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.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: duranty; nyt; pulitzer; walterduranty
In 1933, Duranty wrote an article for the New York Times calling the dispatches of the Welsh newspaper, The Western Mail, incorrect and the paper's investigative reporter, Gareth Jones, "hasty" in his reporting on the Holodomor.

The Western Mail is still in business and published this article today on Duranty and Jones:

Justice at last for critic of Stalinism? (Welsh paper vs New York Times Walter Duranty)

1 posted on 06/12/2003 11:35:38 AM PDT by DPB101
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To: DPB101; Timesink; reformed_democrat; PianoMan; Loyalist
Now that would be something if a NY Times reporter from that era lost his Pulitzer Prize!

2 posted on 06/12/2003 6:31:41 PM PDT by Susannah (Over 200 people murdered in L. A.County-first 5 mos. of 2003 & NONE were fighting Iraq!!)
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To: Susannah; Liz; nopardons; terilyn; Grampa Dave; dix; Rodney King; Tamsey; friendly; Tacis; ...
Neat that two weeks ago, Duranty was not even mentioned and now he is front and center. Most Americans of that era who know of him believe he was a great man.

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.

3 posted on 06/12/2003 8:46:54 PM PDT by DPB101 ("I just like the tribal culture of a newsroom"--former NYT executive editor Howell Raines.)
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To: DPB101
Never fear, Joe is finally smiling and has stopped whirling as much. :-)

Snowballs and ice skating in HELL ? I'm delighted ... tickled pink !

Hurrah for your mother. It's NEVER too late, apparently. :-)

4 posted on 06/12/2003 9:04:15 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: DPB101
Poor, poor NYT. Caught in the unfortunate media spotlight, shining with laser like brightness in all the dark corners previously hidden from ordinary mortals.

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.

5 posted on 06/12/2003 9:53:44 PM PDT by Fracas
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To: Fracas
How do we get into the New York Times morgue?

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.

6 posted on 06/12/2003 10:16:42 PM PDT by DPB101 ("I just like the tribal culture of a newsroom"--former NYT executive editor Howell Raines.)
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To: DPB101
bump it Up!
7 posted on 06/12/2003 10:28:08 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi..Support FRee Republic..DemRats fear an informed populace..Spread the word;They're Done!!!)
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To: DPB101; Ragtime Cowgirl
This is truly amazing re this remark:

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"!

8 posted on 06/12/2003 10:53:54 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (Evil Old White Devil Californian Grampa for big Al Sharpton and Nader in primaries!)
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To: DPB101; nopardons; Ragtime Cowgirl
A couple of weeks ago there were only a handful of us on FR who knew about this farce of a Pulitizer by a liar working for the communist infected NY Slimes in the 1930's.

Now, reality is finally getting traction after 7 decades.

Hopefully the lies about Iraq and President Bush and ignoring the mass murder of 6 million innocent Iraqis by $oddomite and his thugs will not take 70 years for the replay of reality.
9 posted on 06/12/2003 10:57:45 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (Evil Old White Devil Californian Grampa for big Al Sharpton and Nader in primaries!)
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To: Grampa Dave; NormsRevenge
This is truly amazing re this remark

I will spend the rest of my life calling to account those who lied to me when I was a kid.

10 posted on 06/12/2003 11:17:49 PM PDT by DPB101 ("I just like the tribal culture of a newsroom"--former NYT executive editor Howell Raines.)
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To: DPB101
"You can't make an omelet without breaking eggs." --New York Times, May 14, 1933, page 18

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?

11 posted on 06/12/2003 11:26:38 PM PDT by Tall_Texan (Why aren't we checking the DNC for WMDs?)
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To: Tall_Texan
Good point. The writer got off track. The quote only makes sense when Duranty's entire dispatch from Moscow is read:

The New York Times, Friday March 31st 1933.

12 posted on 06/12/2003 11:44:29 PM PDT by DPB101 ("I just like the tribal culture of a newsroom"--former NYT executive editor Howell Raines.)
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To: DPB101
.....at least until there are no more members of her former party alive.......

Now there's a comforting thought.

13 posted on 06/13/2003 2:41:28 AM PDT by Liz
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To: DPB101; Liz; summer; Timesink; Bonaparte; Grampa Dave
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."

Looks like Duranty was being protected by the publisher. Did Arthur Hays Sulzberger have some business interest in Stalin's Soviet Union?

14 posted on 06/13/2003 4:53:37 AM PDT by aristeides
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To: aristeides
Very interesting. Thanks for the ping here.
15 posted on 06/13/2003 5:37:18 AM PDT by summer
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To: aristeides
The Duranty journo fraud story is still unfolding.
16 posted on 06/13/2003 6:04:11 AM PDT by Liz
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To: aristeides
He and Armand Hammer were probably good friends.

The Slimes has a long and positive relationship with communists like Lennin on his stay in the states to how Castro has been made to look like a wonderful leader.
17 posted on 06/13/2003 7:16:30 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (Evil Old White Devil Californian Grampa for big Al Sharpton and Nader in primaries!)
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To: DPB101; Grampa Dave
Thank you for the post and the ping! Saddam's mentor, Stalin. Baathist Socialist Party is the full name - which may explain why so many on the left - the press, in Europe, America, around the world watched the celebrating Iraqi people on April 9 with disgust.

Passing it on.

Tales of Saddam's Brutality [lengthy, graphic, White House websight] (includes lengthy press/Senate e-mail contact list) 

18 posted on 06/13/2003 10:06:47 AM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl ("The liberation of Iraq started on July 4, 1776." ~ William Rees-Mogg)
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To: DPB101
I will spend the rest of my life calling to account those who lied to me when I was a kid.

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.

19 posted on 06/13/2003 10:34:19 AM PDT by reformed_democrat
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To: reformed_democrat
lol....your screen name is apt.

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.

20 posted on 06/13/2003 11:23:46 AM PDT by DPB101 ("I just like the tribal culture of a newsroom"--former NYT executive editor Howell Raines.)
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To: DPB101

Do you have any idea where I can find the text of Duranty's articles in the New York Times?


21 posted on 01/26/2005 5:49:47 PM PST by The Real J Fate (FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS)
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