Screengrab from https://youtu.be/Qmz3wGFQDkk
During the 1920s and 1930s the New York Times employed a reporter named Walter Duranty. Duranty’s passion was the making the USSR look good and to that end he wrote articles denying the widespread famine in the Ukraine, the Holodomor. This famine in 1932-33 killed as many as 7.5 million people. It would have been a horror show under any circumstances but this particular famine contrived and brought on as a means of destroying an independent peasantry and moving them from private land onto collective farms.
In 1932, Duranty won the Pulitzer Prize.
Now something very similar has happened again.
In 2018, the staff of the Washington Post and the New York Times shared a Pulitzer Prize for “national reporting.” The award credits them with:
For deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the nation’s understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to the Trump campaign, the President-elect’s transition team and his eventual administration. (The New York Times entry, submitted in this category, was moved into contention by the Board and then jointly awarded the Prize.)
These are the winning stories:
February 9, 2017 Officials say Flynn discussed sanctions (Washington Post)
February 14, 2017 White House received warning about Flynn (Washington Post)
March 1, 2017 FBI was to pay author of Trump dossier (Washington Post)
March 2, 2017 Sessions spoke twice to Russian envoy (Washington Post)
May 16, 2017 Trump reveals secret intelligence to Russians (Washington Post)
May 23, 2017 President asked intelligence chiefs to deny collusion (Washington Post)
June 15, 2017 Trump’s actions now a focus of Mueller inquiry (Washington Post)
June 23, 2017 Obama’s secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin’s election assault
August 1, 2017 Trump crafted son’s statement on Russian contact (Washington Post)
December 14, 2017 Doubting the intelligence, Trump pursues Putin and leaves a Russian threat unchecked (Washington Post)
May 17, 2017 Trump Appealed To Comey To Haunt Inquiry Into Aide (New York Times)
July 11, 2017 Trump’s Son Heard of Link To Moscow Before Meeting (New York Times)
July 12, 2017 Emails Disclose Trump Son’s Glee At Russian Offer (New York Times)
December 31, 2017 Unlikely Source Propelled Russian Meddling Inquiry (New York Times)
May 20, 2017 Trump Admitted Dismissal At F.B.I. Eased Pressure (New York Times)
May 12, 2017 President Shifts Rationale For Firing F.B.I. Director, Calling Him a ‘Showboat’ (New York Times)
April 7, 2017 Undisclosed On Forms, Kushner Met 2 Russians (New York Times)
April 23, 2017 In Trying to Avoid Politics, Comey Shaped an Election (New York Times)
May 18, 2017 Trump Transition Said to Know Of Flynn Inquiry Before Hiring (New York Times)
September 8, 2017 To Sway Vote, Russia Used Army of Fake Americans (New York Times)
Actually, it did just the opposite. It took completely legal acts…like an incoming national security advisor talking to the Russian ambassador…and criminalized them. They took mundane actions and tarted them up to look as though they were improper. Some of the stories are blatantly false. The Trump administration moved as the Obama administration never did to counteract Russian efforts to peel away Eastern European NATO members from the alliance. The Russians, according to evidence given over to Congress, never employed anything close to an “army” of “fake Americans” and they seemed less interested in swaying votes than in doing what the WaPo and NYT received a prize for, that is, sowing discord and dissention. And, on last Sunday, they were repudiated by the the findings of the special counsel. In fact, rather than furthering our understanding, the collective work made us much stupider than we would have been without it.
This whole episode has really validated President Trump’s critique of the news media. I think most of us on the right knew that it wasn’t a level playing field but we had given the media the benefit of a doubt. Now we’re seeing them for what they are: hyperpartisan political actors who are ready and eager to use their perceived objectivity to move the Democrat agenda and fluff Democrat politicians.
I’m on Facebook. Drop by and join the fun there.