My understanding of it is that Duranty wasn’t even a Communist parroting the party line, but simply a reporter who lied because he enjoyed the money he was paid by the Times, the perks that Stalin provided to his favorite parrot and his status as the most famous journalist in the world — all of which would have been lost to him if he had reported the truth about Stalin’s butchery. What’s more, he won a Pulitzer Prize for his despicable lies.
Lest you think that sort of thing couldn’t happen today, I’ll remind you that in order to keep its Baghdad bureau open, CNN never uttered a negative word about Saddam Hussein’s regime. At least in Duranty’s case, the explanation for his moral and journalistic lapses were greed and glory. But what does a so-called news organization gain from having a bureau for 25 years if it hasn’t the slightest intention of reporting the news?
The fact that those on the left lie isn’t so surprising. What boggles the mind is how badly they do it. In the recent past, Jack Kelley of USA Today was caught fabricating stories, as was Stephen Glass of the New Republic, as was Jayson Blair of the New York Times. Janet Cooke cooked up a story about an eight-year-old heroin addict for the Washington Post, and, like Mr. Duranty, won a Pulitzer Prize for her fictional concoction. But at least the Post, unlike the New York Times, had the good grace to return the Prize once the truth leaked out.
Let us not forget CBS’s Dan Rather, who allowed his hatred of George Bush to blind him to the fact that he was going to the mat in defense of obviously forged documents, and that not too long ago, the New Republic, even after the Stephen Glass affair, was so eager to attack the war in Iraq they ran a series of foul and outrageous lies slandering our troops by one Scott Thomas Beauchamp.
The thing about those on the left that I personally find so infuriating is that they’re such hypocrites that they never call one another out for not telling the truth. For instance, Al Gore and his Hollywood disciples are constantly exchanging the environmental equivalent of high-fives, and no liberal ever mentions the inconvenient truth that all of these people reside in mansions the size of hotels and fly all over the planet in private jets. Talk about carbon footprints! Dinosaurs didn’t have feet this big or this dirty.
Speaking of movie stars, they all pretend to be populists, just worried sick about the plight of blue collar Americans. Of course they’ll open their homes to raise campaign funds for any huckster with a (D) after his or her name. But have you ever heard about their offering, let us say, a million dollars of their $25 million-a-movie salary to be divided among the crew? The more generous ones pass out wristwatches or autographed photos of themselves at the wrap party, imagining that the various gaffers, gofers and stuntmen, will forever after mention them in their evening prayers.
Talk is cheap, but not nearly as cheap as those lying lefties.