The Great Famine-Genocide in Soviet Ukraine (Holodomor)

New York Times Scandal Sparks Memories of Far Worse One

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 himself.

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 Times.

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 atrocity.

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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