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Revoking Duranty's Pulitzer.

In 1932, New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty, a shill for the Soviet Union, won the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting of the Ukrainian terror famine. Duranty's role in covering up that atrocity--the systematic starvation by the Soviets of as many as 10 million people--was to retail the lies fed to him by Josef Stalin's regime. The Soviet lies regurgitated by Duranty, and retailed by the Times to the public, helped grease the skids for U.S. diplomatic recognition of the Soviet Union in 1933--which in turn opened the spigots for aid and trade to the Communist behemoth.

In our September 8 issue, THE NEW AMERICAN reported that 70 years after the Pulitzer Committee became a party to this crime against humanity, "the push is on to have Duranty's Pulitzer Prize revoked due to the slanted and partisan nature of his reporting and his role in covering up the man-made famine." Earlier this year, the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America announced a campaign to have Duranty's Pulitzer revoked, noting that the Timesman not only covered up the truth but also "called other journalists outright liars for reporting about Ukraine's Famine Genocide." Since then, the Pulitzer Board has been buried beneath postcards and deluged with e-mails from around the globe urging that it withdraw the prize.

In July, the Pulitzer Prize Board asked the Times to examine Duranty's coverage of the Ukrainian terror famine. The paper, reeling from more recent scandals that undermined whatever credibility it once had, hired Columbia University history professor Mark von Hagen to make an independent assessment of Duranty's work. Von Hagen concluded that "the Pulitzer Prize [Duranty] received should be rescinded because of his 'lack of balance' in covering Stalin's government," reported the October 23 New York Times.

Von Hagen "described the coverage for which Mr. Duranty won the Pulitzer ... as a 'dull and largely uncritical recitation of Soviet sources,'" continued the Times. "That lack of balance and uncritical acceptance of Soviet sell-justification for its cruel and wasteful regime was a disservice to the American readers of The New York Times and the liberal values they subscribe to and to the historical experience of the peoples of the Russian and Soviet empires and their struggle for a better life," wrote the professor in an eight-page report.

While von Hagen did not say in his report that Duranty's Pulitzer should be revoked, in an interview with the Times he said that the Pulitzer Board "should take it away for the greater honor and glory of The New York Times. He really was kind of a disgrace in the history of The New York Times." That Duranty was a collaborator in the rise of the most murderous dictator in history, making him an accessory in the deaths of millions of human beings, apparently had little to do with yon Hagen's recommendations.

The publisher of the Times, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., told the Pulitzer Board that it would respect a decision to take back the award, but suggested--incredibly--that such an overdue correction of the historical record would evoke the "Stalinist practice to airbrush purged figures out of official records and histories."

This is a bit like the proverb of the criminal who murders his parents and then pleads for leniency because he's an orphan. Nobody is suggesting that Duranty be cast down the memory hole, or that the actions of the Times and the Pulitzer Board be forgotten. Quite the contrary: Decent people want the full truth to be told, recognized and remembered--to the everlasting shame of all concerned, including the New York Times.
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Title Annotation:Insider Report
Publication:The New American
Date:Nov 17, 2003
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