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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/6074/where-the-new-york-times-is-coming-from/

Where The New York Times Is Coming From

December 29, 2006 by

Below are the headlines of four obituaries that have run in The New York Times. The first is that of the recent obituary of the Anti-Communist Augusto Pinochet. The next three are those of the obituaries of the Communist mass murderers Mao, Stalin, and Lenin. Please be sure to note how many are described as having ruled by terror.

December 11, 2006, Augusto Pinochet, Dictator Who Ruled by Terror in Chile, Dies at 91

September 10, 1976, Friday, . . . Mao Tse-tung Dies in Peking at 82; Leader of Red China’s Revolution

March 6, 1953, Friday, Stalin Rose From Czarist Oppression to Transform Russia Into Mighty Socialist State; RUTHLESS IN MOVING TO GOALS

January 24, 1924, Thursday, ENORMOUS CROWDS VIEW LENIN’S BODY AS IT LIES IN STATE; Wait Hours in Snow and Zero Temperature Outside Moscow Nobles’ Club. COFFIN CARRIED FIVE MILES Members of Council of Commissars Stagger Under Load, Refusing Gun Caisson. LENIN CALLED A CHRISTIAN Archbishop Summons Synod to Declare Founder of Bolshevism Member of Church. ENORMOUS CROWDS VIEW LENIN’S BODY

In these headlines we find utter condemnation of a dictator who was relatively mild as dictators go, but who was Anti-Communist; his leading characteristic was allegedly rule by “Terror.”

In contrast, in the case of Communist mass murderers we find non-judgmental tolerance in the headlines, along with a studious refusal to mention the incalculably greater terrors they caused. More than that, we find positive esteem and enthusiasm in the headlines for the Communist mass murderers. Thus Mao was the “Leader of Red China’s Revolution”; Stalin allegedly transformed “Russia Into Mighty Socialist State”; and Lenin’s funeral was described as a phenomenon of near worshipful enthusiasm: “…COFFIN CARRIED FIVE MILES Members of Council of Commissars Stagger Under Load, Refusing Gun Caisson…”

It is patterns such as this that lead some people to think that the reporting of The New York Times is colored by its politics and that the color of its politics is red.

This article is copyright © 2006, by George Reisman. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce and distribute it electronically and in print, other than as part of a book and provided that mention of the author’s web site www.capitalism.net is included. (Email notification is requested.) All other rights reserved. George Reisman is the author of Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics (Ottawa, Illinois: Jameson Books, 1996) and is Pepperdine University Professor Emeritus of Economics.


Mike Linksvayer December 30, 2006 at 12:41 am

The differences could be due to factors other than the NYT being full of communists, especially now.

For example, Mao, Stalin, and Lenin all died in power of two of the most significant jurisdictions in the world, and all generations ago.

Look for the NYT headline upon the deaths of out of power leftist ex-dictators, then compare. Perhaps Mengistu will die soon. And Castro, though his regime is still in power.

Ross December 30, 2006 at 2:14 am

We know much more about Pinochet then we did about those socialist leaders when they died. The Times tries to deal in facts not just allegations and it wasn’t until long after their deaths that the truth about the gulags and great leap into starvation was revealed.

Academician December 30, 2006 at 2:32 am
tebbitt December 30, 2006 at 8:03 am

It is patterns such as these that lead some stupid people to make blog posts that try too hard to make points that no sensible person would even consider.

Dan Mahoney December 30, 2006 at 9:41 am


Are you kidding me? That the jaw-dropping
extent of Stalinist and Maoist atrocities was
not well-known in the 50′s and 70′s?

You are obviously not to be taken seriously.

Jacob December 30, 2006 at 11:40 am

It’s always been clear that publications like the New York Times have a dreamy eyed view of socialism of the Marxist variety. These evil men are seen as visionaries, who are merely attempting to correct the evils of capitalism and greed. Men like Pinochet, certainly not angels, you stand against that must be made to look like demons for standing in the way of people who merely want to help. It’s a terrible double standard. Pinochet may have been a horrible man for his killings and abridgment of rights, but it was certainly less than what would have happened had Allende continued his regime.

Jacob Steelman December 30, 2006 at 4:25 pm

I have lived and worked in Chile. Those who lived through the Allende experience clearly recognized the horrors and corruption of such a Marxist regime and had no desire to return to it. While Pinochet was no saint but he was not even close to being a Stalin, Lenin, Mao, Hitler, Mussolini or Pol Pot as the anti-Pinochet communists have portrayed him.

He established a market oriented economy, he privatized social security (Chile is awash in capital), he stamped out corruption (the bribes and corruption which are still a way of life in Latin America has been eradicated in Chile)and created an environment of stability for 20 years (almost unheard of in Latin America). It is primarily Marxist-socialists and those who did not experience the horrors of the Allende years who are anti-Pinochet.

Mark December 30, 2006 at 11:38 pm

What did the NYT say about Franco when he died?

Mike Linksvayer December 31, 2006 at 3:17 am

Mark, good idea for a data point.

November 20, 1975, Out of the Crucible of Civil War, Franco’s Iron Hand Forged a Modern Spain

Mark Humphrey December 31, 2006 at 10:50 am

That the New York Times has long sympathized with mass murdering communist regimes is obvious from the record. Throughout the Twenties and Thirties, reports filtered out of the Soviet Union of mass terror and forced starvation. But the response of the Times and other statist liberal publications was deafening silence about those atrocities, coupled with a steady flow of glittering propaganda about Stalin’s “Great New Experiment”.

In fact, the Times’ star reporter, Walter Duranty, who was close to the Soviet slave masters, wrote a long series of glowing reports from Russia that specifically denied the forced starvation of roughly ten millions of Ukrainians. However, documents released from the archives of the USSR later revealed that Duranty knew about Stalin’s campaign of forced starvation, and other atrocities. Duranty received the Pulizter Prize fot his “reporting” for the NYT in the Thirties. After his treachery was revealed, the Times’ response was….silence.

Abundant evidence of Stalin’s and Lennin’s unprecedented violence was available in the Twenties and Thirties, as various British and American writers observed during those years. Eugene Lyons, who had been a dedicated communist in the Twenties, wrote “Worker’s Paradise Lost” in the Fifties, based on his own observations and on oral and published reports that filtered out of Russia during the early years. William Henry Chamberlain, American journalist and writer, became a disallusioned ex-communist as a consequence of the time he spent in Russia during the nineteen twenties.

Phillip Conti January 1, 2007 at 8:45 pm

I am not sure how anyone at all could deny the NYT bias in this regard. I am going to play devils advocate for a moment, hell yes Pinochet killed people, does anyone believe that he was not justified in doing so? If I was in his position I would have killed far more collectivists. Liberty is worth both living and KILLING for.

Sam January 2, 2007 at 4:08 am

Wow Phillip Conti your entry reminds of the Puritans who left the Old World to escape religious persecution to arrive in the New World and when they realised they were the majority group in the local area they then proceeded to persecute minority religions.

Or then there are the words of Lisa Simposon: “Well I guess two wrongs DO make a rights”.

jcernharth January 2, 2007 at 2:14 pm

Sam, Phillip is not so off the mark as you.

Collectivists do what they do at the point of a gun. Your effort, labor and life – and the fruits derived thereof — don’t belong to you; it is all theirs, to divvy up as they see fit. If you don’t comply with their wishes, they’ll drag you off. If you resist, they’ll shoot you dead. What they do would be entirely criminal were it not legitimized / laundered by official state sanction, even democracies.

Hence your criticism of Sam falls just a touch short, even if Sam is being a touch inflammatory. Collectivists are brutal by nature. You must be to claim lordship over others lives.

Horatio January 2, 2007 at 3:46 pm

It is wrong to kill someone merely because they prefer a Marxist political system. However, if they are actively involved in trying to bring about a Marxist revolution, then killing them is just self-defense.

Sam January 2, 2007 at 6:23 pm

Gee jcernharth, ‘What they do would be entirely criminal were it not legitimized / laundered by official state sanction, even democracies’.

This beg a few questions such are you saying that Democracies are as bad the former Soviet Union? Why do you presume if someone is getting dragged off to prison, it’s because of Statist thuggery as opposed to someone getting punished for a crime? Why isn’t there more discussion about Emigration? What about the international anarchy of nation, isasmuchas different countries have different rules and some are more Capitalist than others? If you knew that a nation was becoming a horrid Dictatorship couldn’t you be blamed for not leaving before it was too late? Doesn’t the anarchy of nation allow some measure of justice, isasmuchas the Fed tinkering with the U.S. dollar means that people are starting to look at the Euro? And what’s with this Black & White view on Libertarianism, ‘if you’re not a happy Anarchist Libertarianism then you must be a no good Soviet Socialist’, isn’t that the traditional regilious view of ‘if you’re not a good Roman Catholic, then you are a damned heretic who should be put to a burning stake’?

But to Horatio, it is interesting though that Jesus did actually subscribe to the ‘bad seed’ theory. Where bad thoughts lead to bad actions. Didn’t he say something to the tune of ‘a good tree only bears good fruit whereas a bad tree only bears bad fruit, so if you see a bad tree, chop it down and throw into the fire’? Hence a Libertarian society would have Biblical justification for rounding up people who entertain Socialist ideas or possess Socialist paraphenalia to be taken out behind the city gates and shot.

averros January 3, 2007 at 1:09 am


in a libertarian community nobody’s going to be shot for preaching communism – just considered to be a village idiot and generally shunned.

Aggressive idiots who actually try to impose their delusions onto other people are a wholly different matter, though. This kind of subhumanity deserves eradication.

Sam January 3, 2007 at 1:44 am

Actually averros I s’pose a tricky question is one where does entertaining ideas become actions? Jesus also said something to the tune of ‘a man who looks at a women with adulterous thoughts has committed aldutery in his heart and is no less guily than someone who commit actual adultery’. Indeed when is that crossing point? Could waiting till the action part be too late? Prevention better than cure?

averros January 4, 2007 at 5:31 am

Sam —

> where does entertaining ideas become actions?

Oh, that’s easy. When someone shows with his idea at my threshold and refuses to leave when I tell him I don’t like his idea (or, worse, if that someone points a gun at me to force me to go along with his idea) he ceases being harmless bozo and becomes a legitimate target.

The system of private property is very effective in telling where the boundaries are. That’s the whole reason for its existance, actually.

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