The New York Times’ affair with false reporting on behalf of totalitarianism is far more serious than than Jayson Blair's plagiarisms and fabrications in various stories in 2002-03, or even last year's admission that the daily newspaper's reporters had committed three different instances of plagiarism (plus an instance where they republished a complete fabrication).
Ukrainian Famine Fakery
Decades ago, New York Times reporter Walter Duranty served as the primary American press cover for a holocaust in the Ukraine that cost some 7-10 million lives. Called “holodomor” in Ukrainian (“death by hunger”), the 1932-33 famine was caused when Joseph Stalin ordered all the grain in the nation of Ukraine confiscated for the Soviet Union to export.
Duranty misinformed New York Times readers that "any report of a famine is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda." Meanwhile, British journalists Malcolm Muggeridge and Gareth Jones courageously reported the truth of the state-managed famine. Muggeridge labeled Duranty “the greatest liar I have met in journalism,” but Soviet dictator (and famine architect) Joseph Stalin praised him because, in Stalin’s words on Christmas day 1933, “You have done a good job in your reporting the U.S.S.R.”
For his lies on behalf of Stalin, Duranty was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and remained a New York Times correspondent until 1940. For more information on the Ukrainian famine, watch the video below or see The New American’s “Duranty’s Lethal Lies.” Also, it’s worth noting that the New York Times is still ignoring the Ukrainian famine. (See “Ukrainian Genocide: NY Times Still Covering Up” for more information.)
Covering for Castro
Not all of the New York Times’ lies on behalf of socialist dictators are outside of living memory. While the Times’ Duranty was covering for Stalin in Moscow, New York Times Reporter Herbert Matthews helped cover for the communist side of the Spanish Civil War in Spain during the 1930s. Matthews ignored massacres of thousands of Catholic priests and nuns by the so-called “Republican” forces that were backed by Stalin.
After the Second World War, the New York Times stationed Matthews in Cuba, where Matthews assisted Fidel Castro's rise to power by glorifying the future dictator. Matthews told New York Times readers on February 24, 1957 that Castro "has strong ideas of liberty, democracy, social justice.” The following day he reported that “there is no communism to speak of in Fidel Castro’s 26th of July Movement.”
The main problem with such claims was not simply that we now know they weren't true, but rather that well-informed people already knew them to be false. For example, John Birch Society Founder Robert Welch wrote in September 1958: “Now the evidence from Castro's whole past, that he is a Communist agent carrying out Communist orders and plans, is overwhelming.” That was three months before Castro came to power. The evidence of Castro’s communist connections (see here for more details on this) were well known at the time by anyone who had followed Cuba carefully.
But even after Castro came to power, Matthews continued his service on behalf of Castro. For example, July 16, 1959 — seven months after Castro’s rise to power — Matthews continued to tell New York Times readers Castro wasn’t a communist: “There are no Reds in the Cabinet and none in high positions in the Government or army in the sense of being able to control either governmental or defense policies. The only power worth considering in Cuba is in the hands of Premier Castro, who is not only not Communist but decidedly anti-Communist....”
Castro’s right-hand man in the communist revolution, Che Guevara, said of Matthews after the revolution “At that time the presence of a foreign journalist — preferably from the United States — was more important to us than a military victory.”
For more information on Matthews’ — and the New York Times — service on behalf of Castro, see the video below
The New York Times prides itself on publishing “All the news that’s fit to print,” but much of what it has printed over the years was false and therefore not fit to print.
Photo: AP Images