He must choose a cause greater than himself

Sunday, June 28th, 2020

Glenn Garvin looks at the Media’s role in concealing Stalin’s evils, as exposed in Mr. Jones:

At the forefront of Mr. Jones are two reporters. One, Gareth Jones (British television actor James Norton), an ambitious rookie freelancer for what was then called the Manchester Guardian, is so inexperienced he forgot to bring his typewriter on the trip. The other, Walter Duranty (Peter Sarsgaard, Wormwood), The New York Times‘ Moscow bureau chief, is fresh off a Pulitzer prize for his fawning coverage of Stalin’s command-and-control economic policies.

Jones has been told Duranty is the man to see to arrange an interview with Stalin. He explains what he wants to ask: “So how are the Soviets suddenly on a spending spree? Who’s providing the finance?” Duranty is noncommittal about the interview, but does have an answer about where the money is coming from: agricultural exports. “Grain is Stalin’s gold.” He also offers some bad news — a German reporter who’s a friend of Jones and had promised to show him around Moscow has been murdered, apparently during a mugging — almost unknown in the stringently locked-down Moscow of the 1930s, particularly in the area where journalists and other necessary foreign evils lived.

Nosing around while he waits to see what will happen with his Stalin interview, Jones learns that his German friend thought something fishy was going on in the Ukraine, the Soviet Union’s breadbasket region, which had recently been placed off-limits to foreigners, and was planning to sneak in. Jones decides to do the same, arranging a tour of a German-built factory on the other side of the Ukraine from Moscow, then ditching his Soviet minder to spend a couple of days wandering alone on foot.

Even before he leaves the train, Jones has clues that something has gone deeply wrong. When he offers to buy an overcoat from a Ukrainian passenger, the man begs to be paid in bread rather than currency. When Jones pitches a gnawed apple core into a wastebasket, another man dives into the trash to retrieve it.

But nothing can prepare him for what he sees when he gets off: Stiffened corpses scattered around the train station. Corpses in empty, deserted farmhouses. Corpses stacked on carts moving along village streets. Corpses being chewed on by starving children, who afterward trill a mournful ballad: “Hunger and cold are in our house, nothing to eat, nowhere to sleep and our neighbor has lost his mind and eaten his children… .”

Jones is eventually picked up by Soviet security forces and returned to Moscow, where he’s warned never to tell anybody what he’s seen. The “or else” will be the life imprisonment of half-a-dozen British phone company engineers who’ve been arrested on trumped-up spying charges. As he prepares to leave, he’s ostracized by other reporters, including the sneering Duranty. “There comes a time in every man’s life when he must choose a cause greater than himself,” Duranty lectures him with, yes, moral clarity.

Back in London, Jones discovers Duranty has filed a New York Times story dismissing him as a credulous amateur. There may be a bit of hunger in the Ukraine, Duranty writes, but absolutely no famine. And anyway, what if there was? “You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.”


The OGPU, as the KGB was called in the early 1930s, didn’t murder reporters who got off their leashes; it simply expelled them, forcing them to leave their posh Moscow habitat for the mean streets of the Depression back home. (The name of the murdered-reporter character, Paul Kleb, suggests he was intended as an homage to Russian-American journalist Paul Klebnikov, a Forbes staffer who was gunned down in Moscow in 2004).

Jones didn’t pull any James Bond razzmatazz to reach the Ukraine; he simply bought a ticket to Kharkov, a city much further down the line, and got off early. He wasn’t arrested and he wasn’t threatened; he finished his reporting trip and didn’t say anything about what he’d seen until he got back to London. None of this contradicts Mr. Jones’ central thesis — that the mainstream pack of foreign correspondents in Moscow in the 1930s were a pack of mewling Stalinist whores, and that the novice Jones was a better journalist and a braver man than any of them — but it’s an unnecessary distraction.

If anything, though, Mr. Jones’ depiction of the vicious way he was treated by his colleagues is understated. The first person to reveal the mainstream journalism cabal against Jones was Eugene Lyons, the Moscow correspondent for the United Press wire service at the time Jones was there. In his 1937 book Assignment in Utopia, Lyons recounts how after Jones began writing and giving speeches about the famine, all the foreign correspondents went to a meeting with the chief Soviet censor, who ordered them to denounce the young reporter as a liar.

Lyons admits that all the correspondents knew that Jones’ stories were absolutely accurate, even though none of them had reported the famine in their own newspapers, due to “the compelling need to remain on friendly terms with the censors.” (Some of them had even discussed the details of the famine with Jones before he went on his reporting trip.) Nonetheless, Lyons wrote, they all complied, “unanimously and in almost identical formulations of equivocation. … Poor Gareth Jones must have been the most surprised human being alive when the facts he so painstaking garnered from our mouths were snowed under by our denials.” After the deal was done, they broke out the vodka and partied well into the night.

Lyons may have been hyping his report a bit (though it scarcely did him any credit, either as a reporter or a human being) but the deliberate slander of Jones and his stories has subsequently been investigated and verified by several historians (including S.J. Taylor in Stalin’s Apologist, her scathing biography of Duranty; Anne Applebaum in her history of Ukrainian starvation, Red Famine; and Timothy Snyder in Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin).

And Duranty (who is played with a stunningly lustrous menace by Sarsgaard) was indeed the most bloodthirsty of the bunch. The line in his story about breaking eggs to make utopian socialist omelettes is dead accurate. And it apparently became a guide post for future generations of Times reporters. Herbert Matthews, whose mistaken or mendacious — take your pick — stories on Fidel Castro helped plunge Cuba into seven decades (and counting!) of miserable tyranny, would later blithely observe of Castro’s sanguinary appetite for executions, “A revolution is not a tea party.”


In recent years, the paper has been increasingly uneasy about its old reporter, even hiring a historian to evaluate his Soviet coverage. But when the historian suggested Duranty’s Pulitzer price be revoked, the Times turned self-righteous. “The notion of airbrushing history kind of gives me the creeps,” said Bill Keller, the executive editor at the time.

I thought of that last week when the Times editorialized in favor of pulling down Confederate statues.


  1. RLVC says:

    These people should be ashamed for trivializing the Holocaust.

  2. Lucklucky says:


  3. Lucklucky says:

    Maybe a supporter of the other mustached guy also specialized in killing white people?

    The distributor of the movie in the US is the Samuel Goldwyn Company. And one of biggest Holodomor denouncers was Raphael Lemkin.

  4. VXXC says:


    Yes Lemkin to his credit denounced the Holodomor.

    Where are we now in America 2020 in Lemkin’s terms, or the terms of genocide watch below?

    I’d say we’re on stage 6 in America, and of course the stages happen simultaneously.

    The target of course in America is non-elite whites.
    [They were called Kulaks in the Ukraine.]

    In truth [before you get too excited]* this pending Civil War in America is simply a continuation of the last Civil War, which was a continuation of the English Civil war of 1641-1650; the Puritans vs the other Protestant sects, and Catholics.
    In America 2020 the ‘racist’ that is non-elite, non-woke white is the target of the elite whites…who you know see us standing in the way of “Progress”.

    Our destruction for which the destruction of statues is merely a test run is “Progressive” and serves the Greater Good.

    [also it eliminates potential upstart rivals].

    [*don't get too excited, it never helps. I mean exactly before you reflexively call me mustache man, I'm not - and if I was I'd admit it.]

    Now this is Stanton’s Genocide Watch 1996, not Lemkin’s.


    # Stage Characteristics Preventive measures
    1 Classification People are divided into “them and us”. “The main preventive measure at this early stage is to develop universalistic institutions that transcend… divisions.”
    2 Symbolization “When combined with hatred, symbols may be forced upon unwilling members of pariah groups…” “To combat symbolization, hate symbols can be legally forbidden as can hate speech”.
    3 Discrimination “Law or cultural power excludes groups from full civil rights: segregation or apartheid laws, denial of voting rights”. “Pass and enforce laws prohibiting discrimination. Full citizenship and voting rights for all groups.”
    4 Dehumanization “One group denies the humanity of the other group. Members of it are equated with animals, vermin, insects, or diseases.” “Local and international leaders should condemn the use of hate speech and make it culturally unacceptable. Leaders who incite genocide should be banned from international travel and have their foreign finances frozen.”
    5 Organization “Genocide is always organized… Special army units or militias are often trained and armed…” “The U.N. should impose arms embargoes on governments and citizens of countries involved in genocidal massacres, and create commissions to investigate violations”
    6 Polarization “Hate groups broadcast polarizing propaganda…” “Prevention may mean security protection for moderate leaders or assistance to human rights groups…Coups d’état by extremists should be opposed by international sanctions.”
    7 Preparation “Mass killing is planned. Victims are identified and separated out because of their ethnic or religious identity…” “At this stage, a Genocide Emergency must be declared. Full diplomatic pressure by regional organizations must be invoked, including preparation to intervene to prevent genocide.”
    8 Persecution “Expropriation, forced displacement, ghettos, concentration camps”. “Direct assistance to victim groups, targeted sanctions against persecutors, mobilization of humanitarian assistance or intervention, protection of refugees.”
    9 Extermination “It is ‘extermination’ to the killers because they do not believe their victims to be fully human”. “At this stage, only rapid and overwhelming armed intervention can stop genocide. Real safe areas or refugee escape corridors should be established with heavily armed international protection.”
    10 Denial “The perpetrators… deny that they committed any crimes…” “The response to denial is punishment by an international tribunal or national courts”
    Now I don’t think BLM gets this done, but I think they’re cover for Elite Whites seeking the destruction of their century old enemies – non elite whites.

    And if you don’t think ‘genocide’ happened in the English Civil War it did…in Ireland after Cromwell had won. Being a practical man he had to send his army of fanatics somewhere…so he sent them to Ireland. 1/3 dead*, 1/3 fled. 1/3 left and quiet..for awhile.

    *this is when the 100,000 Irish slaves were sold and sent to the Caribbean. Difficult to classify them- are they fled or dead?

    There have been numerous genocides since WW2, in fact someone here says 43.

    “The Political Instability Task Force estimated that, between 1956 and 2016, a total of 43 genocides took place, causing the death of about 50 million people.”


  5. Lucklucky says:

    I don’t think Civil War has much to do with this, which is a Marxist rising by the elites in a sort of almost religious way.

    At this time Democratic Party Marxists can’t go to a Mad Max scenario because the opposition have more weapons.

    So they will continue to strangle the opposition with low-level violence and harassment, a concept that the right does not understand. And expecting the enemy makes a mistake.

    While the Left thinks binary, it acts scalar. The Right thinks scalar and acts binary. For the Right there is peace or there is war, nothing in between…so they lose.

    With low-level threats and violence, almost like a Mafia, the Left got all education complex, all media, and now pretty much all big corporations on their side. The conservatives think in weapons by excluding everything else; they don’t understand that to neutralize the enemy can be made in many ways: inducing guilt, education and propaganda, low-level harassment, social, financial, communication exclusion, etc.

    Besides, I like to say that the Media is the organization that has more weapons. They have the ones that make violence legitimate or not.

  6. VXXC says:

    Those are interesting points, Lucky; however, does the current crop of leftists we see understand Fabian methods or believe they have to wait?

    “At this time Democratic Party Marxists can’t go to a Mad Max scenario because the opposition have more weapons.”

    The Opposition doesn’t have any leaders or organization. The Left does. Organization and actual leaders are making a difference. The Right has none. It’s very effectively leaderless and atomized, and so far kept that way. Most of the Opposition of course put it’s faith in our Constitutional institutions, law, police, elections. They are now utterly orphaned — and indeed more importantly are coming to admit it.

    “which means they’ll turn elsewhere.”

    Interesting point on thinking scalar and acting binary, vs thinking binary and acting scalar. Thank you.

  7. Lucklucky says:

    “The Opposition doesn’t have any leaders or organization. The Left does. Organization and actual leaders are making a difference.”

    I don’t see leaders on the left. But they have many priests: journalists, teachers.

    They have a narrative and a clear objective: destruction of Western Civilization and the destruction of language.

    They also have the advantage of their army being young and being ambitious. The right is defensive and without ambition.

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