On October 10, 2012, PJ Media and The New Criterion combined forces to give the first annual Walter Duranty Prize for journalistic mendacity, named after Walter Duranty, the New York Times Moscow bureau chief between 1922 and 1936. Duranty is notorious for having whitewashed Stalin’s atrocities, notably the forced starvation of millions of Ukrainians known as the Holodomor. Duranty’s cleansed reports were further responsible for encouraging Franklin Roosevelt to recognize the Soviet Union.
Actually, we gave several prizes a year ago October — a second runner-up to the blogger Andrew Sullivan, a first runner-up to Bob Simon of 60 Minutes and the Duranty Prize itself to reporter Joan Juliet Buck and editor Anna Wintour of Vogue magazine for their nauseating whitewash of the Assad family (“Asma al-Assad: A Rose in the Desert”). Subsequent events in Syria have shown that we chose well.
But we have been somewhat remiss in delivering an annual Duranty Prize as promised. That is about to be corrected. Roger Kimball (on behalf of The New Criterion) and I (on behalf of PJ Media) hereby announce the second annual Duranty Prize for journalistic mendacity for works published or aired in the calendar year 2013.
This year too we are pleased to announce a new award for lifetime, that is repeated, achievement in mendacious journalism – The Rather. This is in honor of former CBS anchorman Dan Rather, who famously lied on 60 Minutes about forged papers supposedly tarnishing President George W. Bush’s National Guard service. Rather’s prevarications were responsible in part of the formation and naming of the Media formerly known as Pajamas, now PJ Media.
As before, you may submit your nominations for both The Duranty Prize and The Rather in the comment section here or via email at email@example.com. In the case of The Duranty, please nominate only for news reports, articles, or television and radios shows that were published or broadcast between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2103. The Rather is, as stated, for lifetime achievement.
All nominations for the Duranty and Rather prizes will close April 1, 2014.
The Duranty Prize Committee (Peter Collier, Roger Kimball, Cliff May, Ron Radosh, Glenn Reynolds, Claudia Rosett, Michael Ledeen and Roger L. Simon) will then sift through the nominations and select the winners.
The prize winners will be announced at a dinner in New York on May 5, 2014. James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal will again be the master of ceremonies.