Spinning Mass Murder

In 1932-1933, The New York Times published several stories denying The Holodomor, a famine that was intentionally inflicted by Joseph Stalin on the Ukranian people. By the time it was over, the Holodomor succeeded in killing upwards of 3.3 million Ukrainians by starvation.

3.3 million souls. Mothers. Fathers. Children. Families murdered by an intentional, state-sponsored famine. This was Joseph Stalin. This was what he chose to do to his own people.

Why and how did The New York Times engage in denying this atrocity? Those are tough questions, but we can answer the “how.”

The famine was not unknown to the outside world. There were news outlets covering it at the time. We’ll get to some of them in a moment. But as for The NYTimes, the paper turned to their Moscow Bureau Chief, WALTER DURANTY, to cover the Holodomor.

In 1931, Walter Duranty won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the Soviet Union. Duranty was considered the expert on Stalin. And although many also considered him a Stalin apologist, he was the man in Moscow who had access to Stalin’s administration. So, Duranty was the man The NYTimes counted on to cover the famine. And there is no doubt among all scholars, and now the NYTimes itself, that Duranty used his position to deny Stalin’s role in inflicting the Holodomor and the nature of the famine itself.

Duranty is the “how” this black mark on The NYTimes happened. As for the “why,” it remains somewhat of a mystery.

It wasn’t that Duranty was an ignorant dupe – or, in today’s terms, a “useful idiot.” Duranty KNEW there was a real famine; he admitted as much to a diplomat at the British embassy, William Strang, in 1932.

So, why did Duranty fail to cover it with accuracy? The only conclusion we can draw is that Duranty was Stalin's apologist by choice.

Duranty received fame, notoriety, and a prestigious position within The New York Times due to his access to Stalin, which included exclusive interviews. Perhaps, he was a Stalin-idealist, who agreed with the dictator’s political positions. Or perhaps, he was merely a sycophant, who fed off the continued favor afforded him by his proximity to power.

Whatever the “why,” the NYTimes allowed Duranty to work on behalf of Stalin. They allowed him to deny human atrocities on the scale of mass, civilian death. 3.3 million souls…

Even at the time, The New York Times cannot claim that they did not know they were enabling a propagandist. For, they were warned from within.

Some editors expressed concern about Duranty’s bias and the denials. They disagreed with Duranty’s work – with his “take.” Yet, despite their objections, The NYTimes continued to publish Duranty’s stories.

There is a term now for Duranty’s particular brand of “reporting.” Unsurprisingly, it is pure Soviet in its roots: whataboutism.

Whataboutism is a classic cold war tactic, described this way by the Washington Post: “Whataboutism appears to broaden context, to offer a counterpoint, when really it’s diverting blame, muddying the waters and confusing the hell out of rational listeners.”

We’ve read Duranty’s articles on The Holodomor. And under this description, they are classic whataboutism. This is easy to see, especially when reading the coverage given by other US journalists and outlets, who weren’t engaged in Duranty’s immoral and self-serving methods.

On March 29, 1933, U.S. newspapers published an interview given by British journalist Gareth Jones that exposed the Holodomor. The New York Evening Post published the interview with the title, “Famine grips Russia, millions dying, idle on rise says Briton,” and the Chicago Daily News published it with the headline, “Russian Famine Now as Great as Starvation of 1921, Says Secretary of Lloyd George.”

Two days later, on March 31, 1933, The New York Times published an article by Duranty titled, “Russians Hungry, But No Famine.” Its substance and intent is pure whataboutism. Give it a read.

Then, there was a follow-up article by Duranty headlined, “Soviet Industry Shows Big Gains,” published April 6, 1933. Even the headline reads as a pro-Stalin PR response to a public relations crisis – designed to obscure. It was artful PR spin. Remember that term.

The combination of Duranty’s tactics formed the basis of denial, and an apologist for mass murder went down in the history books. Given the NYTimes position as a highly respected paper of record, the world’s attention at the time was obfuscated, if not out-right diverted, from the cruelty unfolding in the Ukraine. The spin worked.

It is more than plausible to assert that Duranty’s coverage of The Holodomor contributed to the death count. By spinning the myth that there was no famine, and publishing that myth in a paper of record, Duranty and The New York Times were complicit in enabling intentional “murder by starvation.”

Denial of the Holodomor continues to be pushed by Russian propaganda media to this day. It is part of the information war, as Russia instigates military violence in Ukraine.

3.3 million souls…

This was the consequence of an apologist masquerading as an investigative journalist – using PR spin to cover a murderous dictator’s crimes.

Whatever the internal forces were that allowed Duranty’s stories to be published, The New York Times bears this historical accountability. They wear the scar of enabling an apologist.

They were Stalin’s co-conspirators, and the Holodomor’s blood is on their hands for all eternity.


Since the 2016 Presidential campaign, one very special NYTimes journalist has risen to fame and favor within their organization. Just like Duranty with Stalin, this rise is due primarily to her direct access to Donald Trump.

We’ve gone through every article she authored during the 2015-2016 election season – both in content and timing of publication (equally significant), and we’ve come to the conclusion that this reporter is a full-blown, PR spin, Trump apologist.

We feel ever more certain of this conclusion because, unlike Duranty, we think we know her motive – the “why.” It’s not a pretty picture.

Despite all the articles published – and the incredible shooting star of journalistic fame being lavished on their reporter, The New York Times has failed to disclose to the public that she has family FINANCIAL ties to both Russia and the Trump-Kushner clan.

This reporter is Maggie Haberman.

We’ll break down Haberman’s PR spinning, apologist work in a minute. First, let’s give you some hard information that The NYTimes apparently doesn’t want you to know.

We begin with Maggie’s mom...