An Epic Moral Failure

By | July 30, 2020

[July 30, 2020]  We all experience it.  We’ve all been there.  Moral failure is the bane of the average person and always will be a problem.  Yet, there are those failures that are of such epic proportions that we must tell and retell the story so that even the most ignorant or ideological blind cannot close the eyes to it.

Unfortunately, that is precisely what happened in the story of Walter Duranty,1 New York Times reporter who falsely reported that there was no such thing as widespread starvation (1931-1933) in the Soviet Union and Ukraine.  In the 1930s, Duranty was the best-known newspaperman in the world.2  He is credited with gaining diplomatic recognition in the U.S. for the fledgling Soviet state.

But his fortunes belied something sinister.  Duranty not only gulled the readers of the New York Times, but he also influenced the thinking of many about the character of Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Regime.  Furthermore, the Times top brass suspected that Duranty was writing Stalinist propaganda but did nothing.  It wrote in an editorial that he had “the most outstanding correspondent of an American newspaper…

Anyone with the slightest common sense would easily reject his writings.  Even the Times, in recent years, acknowledged that Duranty was a fraud.  The lies he told were so bizarre and so far from the truth that even a modern NY Times couldn’t ignore it.  A contemporary of Duranty, Malcolm Muggeridge, said that he was “the greatest liar of any journalist I have met in fifty years of journalism.”  Why it took the top leadership of the Times so long to come to terms with their own failures is telling.

In our time, the Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones has been celebrated by leadership at the Times as a genius for her 1619 Project.  This project, in the Time’s word, “reframes” American history around slavery.  No longer should 1776 be considered the year of America’s birth, but rather 1619, the year the first African slaves were brought to the New World.3  Historians have rejected her “history” as pure fiction on par with the journalistic propaganda of Duranty.

Just two days ago, even Hannah-Jones herself wrote in a Twitter feed that “I’ve always said that the 1619 Project is not a history.   It is a work of journalism …”   Is it or isn’t it a history?  Reading the Times, one would never know.  They are still peddling it as real American history, and those that deny it are called racists.

The Duranty episode of lies and deceit should have been a lesson for the Gray Lady newspaper leaders would have never forgotten.  Apparently not.  Once again, the New York Times is in the middle of another epic moral failure.



Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

31 thoughts on “An Epic Moral Failure

  1. Tracey Brockman

    Low expectations for the nation’s most well-known newspaper. I expect no morality or normalcy from them. They sh** over our values and demean our way of life. They have an acidic hate for religion (except Islam), police and military, and for the nuclear family. What else could they do to attract people to their fold? Maybe they would recommend rioting, burning, and looting. Wait! They did that already.

  2. Billy Kenningston

    No surprises here, move along. The New York Times staff has told us this is all in the past. They won’t do it again. Move along. Keep moving. Ha Ha Ha Ha…..

  3. Dennis Mathes

    Excellent article. For a long time, I’ve not liked the New York Times, mostly for their anti-US military stances on issues. They have called for “defunding” our military – before it was called defunding. And, they published secret operational plans that gave our enemies insight into what we were going to do next and created more casualties among our troops. The NY Times workers are traitors to our country.

    1. Yusaf from Texas

      Well said, Dennis. And for the reasons you mention, the Times’ staff should be exposed to the world for their deceit and betrayals of our country and of those in our Armed Forces.

    2. Jerome Smith

      The depravity of the NY Times leadership AND STAFF is nuts. How could anyone be so anti-American? In the old days, you were tried in a court of law and executed. Today, it’s a sign of “wokeness.” However, their depravity has no end. They will “eat their own” eventually and I will be around to smile when they do.

      1. Bart Rhodes

        Depravity is an understatement. Traitors all.

  4. Bill Sanders, Jr.

    An honest person would be embarrassed by the behavior of the NY Times. I certainly would. Their debasement of American (or any) common values shows where they stand. They want to tear down all nations built upon a Judeo-Christian value system. That is why they are so pro-Islamic and anti-American. But if the religion of Islam ever took over, they would be hanging by their necks over the nearest bridge.

    1. Lynn Pitts

      Ouch, tell us what you think Bill. Great analysis. These so-called journalists are simply college “snowflakes” with a job. No real life experiences and raised in an ideological echo chamber.

  5. Tom Bushmaster

    Is anyone here that has consistently followed the news and the scandals at major US newspapers and television news shows been surprised? If you have, you live under a comfortable rock. I don’t trust anyone with a title of journalist. I don’t care where they work, live, or write. They are not to be trusted at all. And, when I meet them on the street, I say that I’m sorry about their job and if they have an interest I can get them a real job.

    1. William DeSanto

      I call them FAKE NEWS! Why? Simple, they lie. When they get caught, they lie more. Reporters are not to be trusted.

  6. Xavier Bordon

    It was once said, as a commercial joke, that it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature. The same is true in this case, but not as a joke: It’s not nice to fool with history. The New York Times is the joke.

  7. Albert Ayer

    At the heart of Mrs. Hannah-Jones‘ project is the explicit claim that the true history of America did not start in 1776, but in 1619, the year when the first slaves arrived to the colonies. Instead of taking our bearings from the eternal truths enshrined in the Declaration (“all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”), she argues that slavery is the lens through which all of America’s successes and failures, every single thing that defines us, good and bad, must be understood.

    1. Eva Easterbrook

      Now, Mrs. Hannah-Jones is an ideologue. The truth and falsity of her “Project” does not, one suspects, interest her (or The New York Times) in the least.

    2. Randy Goodman

      Sadly, there are indications now that this dishonest “history” will now be taught in K-12 public schools, from Chicago to Washington, D.C.

  8. Max Foster

    When the NYTimes came out with their 1619 project it was immediately slammed as fiction. The Times’ staff rebuffed them hard and claimed its historical significance. But now, the author, crazy Hannah-Jones (known anti-white racist) says its only “journalism” – whatever that means. She threw the NYTimes staff under the bus. How appropriate can you get. Even the author denies that it is history. But what does this say about reporters and the leadership at all our major newspapers?

    1. Willie Shrumburger

      Good comment, Max. To answer your question, this project of 1619 says that there are no moral scruples at the Times.

  9. Joe the Aussie

    Loved your article — spot on! Cheers.

    1. Kenny Foster

      Good to see you back, Joe. Hope all is well in Austrailia. ?

    2. Eric Coda

      Yes, great article with some real substance. I like it when Gen. Satterfield names names.

  10. Jonnie the Bart

    Great article reminding us that journalists are the least trustworthy people in the world. They even rank lower than the stereotypical used-car salesman selling junk cars. Journalism has long been in decline because ethics is a subject for derision. As Christianity declines, journalism increases it’s lack of morality.

  11. JT Patterson

    Yes, another epic moral failure with this 1619 Project of anti-history and anti-Americanism. Army Captain asked why. No one in their right mind would do it. I don’t think it’s a moral failure so much as it is moral cowardice. So which is it?

    1. Mr. T.J. Asper

      Moral failure vs. moral cowardice, it matters not. But what does matter is that they are about breaking apart the bonds between citizens and their govt. That says a bunch about their mission. Just another group of useful idiots that I will have nothing to do with.

    2. apache2

      This 1619 Project should be a lesson to us all that every day is a fight to hold onto our culture and values. This non-historical fiction “project” should be exposed for what it really is … pure socialist propaganda to get the races fighting among each other.

  12. Army Captain

    I am not surprised whatsoever in the Times multiple epic moral failures. Seems to be a pattern since the 1930s. Today, they do their best to publish top secret military info. Why? Moral failure at the most senior leadership positions.

    1. Harry B. Donner

      Good to remember the past and learn from it. What I know is that if you have a legit secret, don’t let a newspaper reporter near you. They will use anything to get to it and publish it for their own bizarre reasons.

      1. Janna Faulkner

        New York Times … Bizzare!? Yep, and crazy too. The “profession” of journalism has never been lower. I don’t trust any of them…

    2. Wendy Holmes

      No one should be surprised. However, those at the NYT consider it their moral duty because they are morally superior to us heathens.

    3. Valkerie

      General Satterfield kicks butt again with this article.

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