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Pulitzer-Winning Lies

After 70 years a Pulitzer committee is reexamining Walter Duranty's Stalin whitewashes in the New York Times. How bad were they? See for yourself.

1:40 PM, Jun 12, 2003 • By ARNOLD BEICHMAN
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Wise old [Bernard]Shaw, high-minded old [Henri]Barbusse, the venerable [Sidney and Beatrice] Webbs, [Andre] Gide the pure in heart and [Pablo] Picasso the impure, down to poor little teachers, crazed clergymen and millionaires, driveling dons and very special correspondents like Duranty, all resolved, come what might, to believe anything, however preposterous, to overlook nothing, however villainous, to approve anything, however obscurantist and brutally authoritarian, in order to be able to preserve intact the confident expectation that one of the most thorough-going, ruthless and bloody tyrannies ever to exist on earth could be relied on to champion human freedom, the brotherhood of man, and all the other good liberal causes to which they had dedicated their lives. ("Chronicles of Wasted Time," pages 275- 276.)

Let's all give a great encouraging cheer to the Pulitzer committee for undertaking a task 70 years late. And perhaps the Times will now a look back at the Herbert L. Matthews coverage of Cuba and the man he so admired, Fidel Castro.

Arnold Beichman, a Hoover Institution research fellow, is a columnist for the Washington Times.