According to Patrick Wright, Robert C. Tucker, Eugene Lyons, Mona Charen and Thomas Woods one of the first Western Holodomor deniers was Walter Duranty, the winner of the 1932 Pulitzer prize in journalism in the category of correspondence, for his dispatches on Soviet Union and the working out of the Five Year Plan. While the famine was raging, he wrote in the pages of The New York Times
that "any report of a famine in Russia is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda", and that "there is no actual starvation or deaths from starvation, but there is widespread mortality from diseases due to malnutrition."
Duranty was well aware of the famine. He said in private to Eugene Lyons and reported to the British Embassy that the population of Ukraine and Lower Volga had "decreased" by six to seven million. However, in his reports, Duranty downplayed the impact of food shortages in Ukraine. As Duranty wrote in a dispatch from Moscow in March 1933, "Conditions are bad, but there is no famine... But—to put it brutally—you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs."
Duranty also wrote denunciations of those who wrote about the famine, accusing them of being reactionaries and anti-Bolshevik propagandists. In August 1933, Cardinal Theodor Innitzer of Vienna called for relief efforts, stating that the Ukrainian famine was claiming lives "likely... numbered... by the millions" and driving those still alive to infanticide and cannibalism. The New York Times, August 20, 1933, reported Innitzer's charge and published an official Soviet denial: "in the Soviet Union we have neither cannibals nor cardinals". The next day, the Times added Duranty's own denial.
British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge (who went hopefully to live in the New Civilization in 1932, but soon became disillusioned) said of Duranty that he "always enjoyed his company; there was something vigorous, vivacious, preposterous, about his unscrupulousness which made his persistent lying somehow absorbing." Muggeridge characterised Duranty as "the greatest liar of any journalist I have met in 50 years of journalism." Others have characterized Duranty as "the number one Useful Idiot for Lenin first, and later for Stalin."
An international campaign for the retraction of Duranty's Pulitzer Prize was launched in 2003 by the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association and its supporters. The newspaper, however, declined to relinquish it, arguing that Duranty received the prize for a series of reports about the Soviet Union, eleven of which were published in June 1931. In 1990, the Times admitted that his was "some of the worst reporting to appear in this newspaper."
Some historians consider Duranty's reports from Moscow to be crucial in the decision taken by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to grant the Soviet Union diplomatic recognition in 1933. Bolshevik Karl Radek said that was indeed the case./quote]
That's the problem with relying on someone who's been caught fabricating evidence. You can't ever again trust anything they put forward. --Bob