By Paul Jackson, Associate Editor, The Calgary Sun
Calgary, Alberta, Canada, May 20, 2003
A New York Times journalist wins the famed Pulitzer Prize as a reward for
covering up and fabricating reports about one of the greatest atrocities of
the 20th century.
This particular villain's name was Walter Duranty and what he did fully 70
years ago was convince most of the world that allegations claiming Soviet
dictator Josef Stalin engineered the mass starvation of as many as 12
million Ukrainian peasants and farmers was simply anti-communist propaganda.
We now know this appalling crime of genocide -- akin to the Nazi persecution
of the Jews of Europe in Adolf Hitler's death camps -- was true.
Yet Duranty was hailed at the time as the dean of foreign correspondents and
a man whose reports could be trusted absolutely. They actually convinced
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to give official recognition to the
communist government that seized power in Russia.
Under Stalin, now accepted to be one of the most brutal dictators of all
times, Duranty reported peace and prosperity were sweeping the Soviet Union
and communism was the vanguard of the future. There were no Gulags, no
secret trials of dissidents.
The Soviet Union was truly becoming a worker's paradise.
Yet the opposite was true.
One man, the British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge, actually revealed
Duranty's deceit back in 1933 when he took a secret and dangerous excursion
across the Soviet Union and witnessed Stalin's campaign of slaughter for
Men, women and children -- skin and bones -- were begging for pitiful
handfuls of grains while Stalin's henchmen stood guard over full granaries
and turned them away.
Muggeridge, who became a legend in later life, was vilified for his truthful
reports. He actually lost his job on the Manchester Guardian, and it took
years to regain his reputation.
Duranty was honoured not only by Stalin, but by his masters at the New York
What a charade.
I write about the Duranty deceit now for two reasons: One, the Ukrainian
Canadian Civil Liberties Association has launched a campaign to have the New
York Times strip Duranty posthumously of his Pulitzer Prize, and because the
New York Times is now embroiled in yet another huge scandal of one of its
staff members plagiarizing and fabricating stories over a long period of
time. The journalist -- or I should say so-called journalist -- is one
Jayson Blair -- who incredibly now stands to make a stack of money by
penning a book on his shameful exploits!
In comparison to Duranty's betrayal, Blair is rather small fry. But what
should anger all of us is that the lib-left New York Times is perhaps the
most arrogant and egotistical daily newspaper in the U.S.
It regards itself as better than any other metropolitan daily newspaper.
Now, once again, it has egg all over its face -- well-deserved egg, too.
Many readers know I have championed the cause of both Ukrainian freedom and
the great contributions Ukrainian-Canadians have made to our own country.
Lubomyr Luciuk, head of the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association,
is a fine man and a great friend of mine. He and his associates, such as
Marta D. Olynyk, have worked tirelessly to reveal the awful nature of this
man-made famine, and the attempts to cover it up. In Calgary, in 1999, a
monument was erected on Memorial Drive to the victims of this unforgivable
Sally Taylor, author of Stalin's Apologist: Walter Duranty, The New York
Times Man in Moscow (Oxford University Press 1990) fully documented how
Duranty covered up the truth and distorted matters to ingratiate himself to
Stalin and his murderous henchmen. Malcolm Muggeridge himself described
Duranty as the "Greatest liar of any journalist I have ever met." Famed
American commentator Joseph Alsop would later say of Duranty that "lying was
his stock in trade."
For his falsifications, Jayson Blair has been banished from the New York
Times, but Walter Duranty paid no penalty for his outrageous behaviour. The
Times and the Pulitzer Prize Committee still claim Duranty received his
award for work before his sham reporting in the Soviet Union in 1932-33.
This is like suggesting an apologist for Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime
should still be honoured for earlier endeavours.
Ukrainians the world over deserve justice, and the Times should give them
that justice by stripping Duranty of his Pulitzer Prize now. Right now.
The Calgary Sun, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, May 20, 2003
Jackson, associate editor of the Sun, can be reached at
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