September 05, 2006

Journalist Duranty's Pulitzer Attacked, Ukrainians Protest New York Times

After seventy-plus years, Walter Duranty's collaboration with Stalin's Ukrainian genocide has finally caught up with him--and the New York Times (h/t NewsBusters):
NEW YORK—A group of incensed Ukrainian protestors gathered outside the New York Times headquarters in Midtown Manhattan on Friday, November 18, to demand the newspaper return the Pulitzer Prize won by former New York Times reporter Walter Duranty.

Duranty is infamous for his role in helping to cover-up the 1932-33 Ukrainian genocide, in which Soviet despot Joseph Stalin intentionally starved close to 10 million Ukrainians to death. Now, post "Orange Revolution" president Viktor Yushenko's government is building a center to commemorate the genocide, and the people of the Ukraine have requested that the Pulitzer medal be on display there as a symbol of the lies that helped to perpetuate it.

"As the Ukraine becomes more free, the president has created an institute devoted to preventing future genocides. We feel that the medal should be on display there," said Marko Suprun, one of the protest organizers. Suprun's father lost two brothers to the forced "famine," and said that, "As an older brother, he still feels saddened."

Walter Duranty worked at the New York Times Moscow bureau, and as such, developed strong ties to the Soviet government. As Stalin's power grew and he mercilessly tightened his grip on the region in his efforts to solidify the U.S.S.R., Duranty's reporting became useful in helping to strategically shape public opinion overseas.

Duranty was published in the Times November 15, 1933 edition saying, "There is no famine or actual starvation, nor is there likely to be." And previously on August 24 of the same year, "Any report of a famine is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda."

Not only did Duranty neglect to include any information about the true Ukrainian situation in any of his dispatches at the time, he attacked other fellow journalists who were attempting to report the truth. He called them outright liars.
Nope, no bias there. And journalists wonder why they are among the least trusted professions.

More disgusting than Duranty's complicity, is his sponsorship by the Times and despite public knowledge of the Ukrainian policies for decades, there has to this point been no public admission of guilt or remorse, something the paper readily offers up anytime they feel that conservatives/Republicans do something that they don't approve of--and which in these circumstances would not only be appropriate, but long overdue.

Shilling for Communist dictators in an era when leftist activism reached a fevered pitch and when totalitarian communism appeared to be on the "right side" of history, Duranty suffered no serious consequences. "Useful idiot" indeed.



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