In 1933 there was on the horizon in the Soviet Union the Metro-Vickers trial which the Western press desperately wanted to cover. Concurrently, to that time frame a young Welshman named Gareth Jones had taken a three week walk through the heart of what would be later known as the Holodomor and reported back, via dispatches clandestinely shuffled to England via Diplomatic bags, that more than political starvation was occurring in sundry parts of the Soviet Union. Garth Jones’ missives reinforced Malcolm Muggeridge’s prior pseudonymous reporting, back to England, that this was “more than a famine.” Muggeridge reported that it was a Military occupation and so political starvation. The Communists were, by malice aforethought, liquidating their opposition to collectivization.
The Soviets were desperate to discredit the young Welshman Jones and his reporting. The barely earlier reporting of Muggeridge had already been sabotaged due to the influence of his Leftist Aunt, Beatrice Webb. The Fabian, Beatrice Webb, had already successfully threatened a chap named Cairns, thus squashing a official report he had brought back to England on his observations about the conditions of the European “Bread-basket.” The way that Jones was undercut is what make this particularly ugly.
Remember that all this was happening concurrent with the upcoming Metro-Vickers trial. Western Foreign Correspondents desperately wanted to be able to cover this trial. Knowing this, the Soviet Bureaucrat in Charge of assigning journalists to the trial, made it known that the honor of journalist covering that Metro-Vickers trial was dependent upon their disavowing Gareth Jones and his story of death by famine.
The Western Journalists complied and led by the doyen of the Western Journalists, Walter Duranty, they disavowed Gareth Jones, insisting that Jones was exaggerating, even thought they knew that Jones was correct. Duranty himself, disemboweled Jones with a cabled article to the New York Times, that the New York Times dutifully printed. Duranty wrote in a published article,
” “Any report of a famine in Russia is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda. The food shortage, however, which has affected the whole population in the last year and particularly in the grain-producing provinces—the Ukraine, North Caucasus, the Lower Volga—has, however, caused heavy loss of life.” Duranty concluded “it is conservative to suppose” that, in certain provinces with a total population of over 40 million, mortality had “at least trebled.”
Duranty’s method of discrediting Gareth Jones was to half Jones’ observations. Duranty knew what he was doing.
By the means of the leftist in the West, which included Sydney and Beatrice Webb as well as Walter Duranty, the news of the ugly slow death by starvation known as the Holodomor was suppressed and kept from Western News outlets. And the thing that really grinds people who know this story is that Duranty was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the Soviet Union. All these years later the New York Times refuses to return Liar Duranty’s award.
Decades letter the New York Times assigned a member of its editorial board, Karl Meyer, to write a signed editorial regarding Duranty’s work. In a scathing piece, Meyer said that Duranty’s articles were “some of the worst reporting to appear in this newspaper.” Duranty, Meyer said, had bet his career on Stalin’s rise and “strove to preserve it by ignoring or excusing Stalin’s crimes.” Four years earlier, in a review of Robert Conquest’s The Harvest of Sorrow, former Moscow bureau reporter Craig Whitney wrote that Duranty all but ignored the famine until it was almost over. Of course by this time all this was merely dirt on the graves.
The same tribe who would make their sufferings well known worked overtime making sure that the sufferings of others was blacked out.