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The Times and Its Errors (and Ours)

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In response to the newspaper’s “1619 Project,” Peter Kirsanow takes the New York Times to task for Walter Duranty’s coverage of the USSR and the famine that killed millions in Ukraine. “Maybe it should devote a tiny portion of its 1619 Project resources to reframing its history of the Ukrainian famine. . . . The New York Times would do well to correct its own profound mistakes and biases before rewriting history to suit its ideological imperatives.”

Duranty’s work was indeed dreadful. As one critical account put it:

Taking Soviet propaganda at face value this way was completely misleading, as talking with ordinary Russians might have revealed even at the time. Duranty’s prize-winning articles quoted not a single one – only Stalin, who forced farmers all over the Soviet Union into collective farms and sent those who resisted to concentration camps. Collectivization was the main cause of a famine that killed millions of people in Ukraine, the Soviet breadbasket.

That is a statement from the New York Times itself. Another account from the Times:

On Christmas Day in 1933, Joseph Stalin conferred this orchid on his favorite Western journalist:

“You have done a good job in your reporting the U.S.S.R., though you are not a Marxist, because you try to tell the truth about our country . . . I might say that you bet on our horse to win when others thought it had no chance and I am sure you have not lost by it.”

The reporter was Walter........

© National Review