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Sunday, May 10, 2020

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

If any more evidence was needed that America’s major media are reflexively un-American, this year’s Pulitzer Prizes should put that to rest.

Each year, the Papers of Record take turns giving each other Pulitzers. You know who they are. They usually throw in a small newspaper or two, but for the most part, the winners are the usual suspects.


Leading the pack for 2020 was The New York Times, with three wins. The most noteworthy was Nikole Hannah-Jones’ prize in the commentary category for her introductory essay to the paper’s “1619 Project.”

That’s the “educational” series that re-dates America’s founding as the year 1619, when 20 slaves were brought to Virginia. It’s already finding its way into classrooms all over the country, a fitting accompaniment to the communist Howard Zinn’s fraudulent “A People’s History of the United States.”

So, forget 1607, when John Smith and others established the Jamestown Colony. Never mind 1620, when the Pilgrims came to Plymouth, Massachusetts. Or 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was signed by John Hancock and the rest of the brave colonists who bucked the world’s leading power.

Forget also 1787, when the U.S. Constitution, the framework for the freest and most prosperous nation in history, was drafted, or 1788, when it was ratified.

No, there’s only one meaningful aspect to America — its uniquely awful history of slavery. As the series proclaims: “anti- black racism runs in the very DNA of this country.”

The New York Times, and apparently the Pulitzer committee, seem oblivious that slavery was commonly practiced on every settled continent, and still exists in communist nations like North Korea, China and some Muslim countries.

Pulitzer Prizes Administrator Dana Canedy, a former New York Times editor who was part of a team that won a Pulitzer in 2001 for a series on race, defended the choice while conceding that it might not be everybody’s cup of tea.

“Although many historians, perhaps most historians, believe that the preservation of slavery was not among the primary causes of the Revolutionary War, we do not regard this as a matter of settled ‘fact,’” she said.

Wonder if she’s as broad-minded about scientists who question claims about human-caused climate change? Or would that be “settled fact?”

By the way, The Washington Post won an explanatory reporting Pulitzer this year for its series on “extreme climate change,” which basically says the planet is doomed unless we depopulate or ditch fossil fuels for windmills and solar panels.

As for the 1619 Project, a number of prominent historians have panned it, including Gordon Wood, professor emeritus of history at Brown:

Slavery “existed for thousands of years without substantial criticism,” he told the World Socialist website, as related by Peter Kirsanow in National Review. “… But it’s the American Revolution that makes it a problem for the world. And the first real anti-slave movement takes place in North America. So this is what’s missed by these essays in the 1619 Project.”

Well, it’s not the first time The New York Times missed something big.

In 1932, The Times’ Moscow bureau chief, Walter Duranty, won a Pulitzer for reporting that all was well in the USSR, even as Joseph Stalin was killing millions, mostly in Ukraine, by starvation and executions.

“There is no famine or actual starvation nor is there likely to be,” Duranty wrote for the Times in November 1931. “Any report of a famine in Russia is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda,” he added in August 1933.

Despite calls for the Pulitzer committee and The New York Times to rescind Duranty’s award, it’s now joined by Ms. Hannah-Jones’ fake history essay alongside the paper’s other 128 Pulitzers.

The glaring fact is that journalists are unlikely to win a reporting or commentary Pulitzer unless they advance leftist views.

In 2018, The New York Times won a national reporting Pulitzer with The Washington Post for writing on “Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to the Trump campaign.”

This was the core of the Russian collusion hoax that triggered the fruitless Mueller investigation. The prize-winning series included three headlined articles naming Michael Flynn, the former Trump national security adviser who was entrapped by FBI agents and who the Justice Department exonerated on Thursday.

The real story is the Obama administration’s weaponizing the FBI against Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign while ignoring starkly obvious Russian collusion by the Democrats, such as paying for the now-debunked Steele dossier. Also, Joe Biden’s admission on tape of bribing Ukraine officials with $1 billion in U.S. aid into firing a prosecutor looking into his son Hunter Biden’s lucrative Ukraine business venture.

In 2019, The New York Times won for an “investigation of President Donald Trump’s finances.” No sign of the Clintons, who piled up $240 million in 15 years after Bill left office.

The paper also won in 2019 for editorials that “charted the racial fault lines in the United States at a polarizing moment in the nation’s history.”

I wonder what keeps polarizing us?

Could it be the 24/7 racialist obsession and Trump Derangement Syndrome of the Democrats and their Pulitzer-winning media?

• Robert Knight is a contributor to The Washington Times. His website is roberthknight.com.


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