By David Rennie in Washington, The Daily Telegraph
London, UK, October 24, 2003
Pressure mounted on the New York Times yesterday to return a Pulitzer
Prize won by their Stalin-era Moscow correspondent, Walter Duranty,
after an historian hired by the paper found that he had uncritically
recycled Soviet propaganda.
Mr Duranty, who died in 1957, has been condemned as "a disgrace in the
history of the New York Times".
(Click on image to enlarge it)
However, Arthur Sulzberger Jnr, the publisher of the newspaper - while
accepting that Mr Duranty should not have won his 1932 Pulitzer - expressed
concern that taking the prize away now, seven decades after it was awarded,
smacked of Stalin's own "air-brushing" of history.
In the rarefied world of America's liberal media, it is hard to know which
institution takes itself more seriously: the Pulitzer Prize, or the New York
Times. Thus a scrap between the two, even a 70-year-old scrap, has rapidly
turned into compulsive viewing.
Mr Sulzberger - whose newspaper suffered a blow this summer with the
unmasking of star reporter Jayson Blair as a serial fabricator of stories -
also asserted that it did not have Mr Duranty's tainted Pulitzer, and
therefore could not "return" it.
The newspaper commissioned the review of Mr Duranty's work after
protests led by Ukranian-American groups, angry that the reporter failed
to report a famine that killed millions of Ukranians.
Mr Sulzberger said his paper would abide by the final decision of the
But he went on to express concern that "the board would be setting a
precedent for revisiting its judgments over many decades".
By David Rennie in Washington, Telegraph, London, UK, 24/10/2003
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