The New York Times hired historian Mark Von Hagen to review the Pulitzer Prize that the newspaper was awarded in 1932 for its reporter Walter Duranty’s writing from the Soviet Union. Von Hagen has now reported that–as has long been known–Duranty’s reporting was fictitious, and the Pulitzer should be withdrawn. Among other things, Duranty covered up the famine in Ukraine in which millions of people starved to death on Stalin’s orders. He shamelessly repeated the Communist party line, regardless of the facts.
Von Hagen says that Duranty “fell under Stalin’s spell,” which is putting it politely. In fact, Stalin bribed Duranty with liquor and women. Duranty was also, of course, sympathetic to Stalin’s murderous political philosophy, as was the Pulitzer committee.
The Times has forwarded Von Hagen’s report to the Pulitzer committee; it is up to them to revoke the prize. A similar review failed to convince the committee to act in 1990.
Now if they would just investigate the work of the people currently writing for the Times.
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