Today’s Fake News Has Deep Historical Roots

Compelling video by Sheryl Attkisson details the mechanics and of today’s fake news epidemic.

Fake News is not a recent phenomenon although it sure seems to be more widespread than ever.

During the 1930s Walter Duranty was the New York Times’ man in Moscow. He filled the Times’ front page with coverage of the aftermath of the Russian Revolution and Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting.

S.J. Taylor details Walter Duranty’s reporting in his book, Stalin’s Apologist.  In the pages of the New York Times, the paper of record, all the news that’s fit to print, Duranty perpetrated some of the greatest lies history has ever known.

Stalin was responsible for the great Ukrainian famine of the early 1930s that starved millions of peasants who resisted his policies. Duranty never revealed anything of it in all of his reporting although he was fully aware. Even Stalin’s rigged show trials in which thousands of innocent Russians were summarily put to death on political pretexts failed to impress Duranty to tell the truth. All of his reporting back to the America in the 1930s was filled with lies and distortions meant to paint a rosy picture of Stalin and the Soviet Union.

Walter Duranty is the perfect model for today’s epidemic of  fake news. The New York Times invented it; CNN leads its many followers along the trail blazed by the Times and Duranty in the 1930s.

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