Tag Archives: Walter Duranty Awards

This year’s Walter Duranty Prize for dishonest and corrupt journalism.

This year’s Walter Duranty Prize for dishonest and corrupt journalism.

The award is named after the New York Times Moscow Bureau chief from 1922 to 1936, who

whitewashed the repressive evil deeds of the Soviet Union, leading to that country’s recognition by none other than Franklin D. Roosevelt, while winning a 1932 Pulitzer Prize for his efforts.

[Duranty] did this whitewashing most prominently in the case of the Ukrainian Holodomor: the forced starvation of between 1.2 and 12 million ethnic Ukrainians, depending on whose estimates you believe. In other words, a lot of people. Duranty called that genocide “an exaggeration and malignant propaganda” in the newspaper of record. He also covered up the show trial of the British engineers who were tortured into falsely confessing that they were trying to sabotage Stalin’s Five-Year Plan … and similar events … all the time excusing those Soviet misdeeds with what became his personal mantra: “You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet.”

Meanwhile, he fiercely attacked those who dared criticize him, particularly the brave Welsh journalist Gareth Jones, who risked his life to report on the Holodomor, and the British author Malcolm Muggeridge, who returned the compliment by calling Duranty: “The greatest liar I have met in fifty years of journalism.”

Virtually the same year he was winning his Pulitzer, Duranty was reassuring Soviet authorities that he would allow them to vet all reports about their country before they appeared in The New York Times — effectively making that newspaper a U.S. branch of Pravda, for a time anyway.

Read or watch the whole thing (video at the link). The speeches are both sad and hilarious.