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Walter Duranty :: Our Man in Hell http://duranty.com New York Times reporter. Pulitzer Prize winner. One-legged man in hell. Sat, 11 Nov 2017 09:20:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.9 Many thanks to all my readers! http://duranty.com/?p=287 http://duranty.com/?p=287#respond Sat, 11 Nov 2017 09:19:09 +0000 http://duranty.com/?p=287 I am just swamped in congratulatory emails after “Red Century” appeared in the old paper. Let me reply to one and all here: Благодарю! Your kind notes inspire me to continue my immortal quest to tell a better, brighter truth about the Great Cause. And to those who who uncharitably accuse communism of being a murderous ideology, let me just ask you: so you don’t like Lenin or Stalin. But what about Trump? When will we see the Black Book of Trumpism? How many people must die before we return to our senses and ride the great rising tide of the Antifa and impeach Trump? I’m only asking.

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Bubbly, here and maybe below! http://duranty.com/?p=283 http://duranty.com/?p=283#respond Thu, 18 May 2017 13:10:33 +0000 http://duranty.com/?p=283 Roger died of fatness today so the staff had to duct-tape Jimmy M. to his office BarcaLounger. The pathetic Little Dill kept trying to tap dance on the desks. I’ll be away organizing a reception down here. Today’s lesson: you can’t really die of embarrassment, but, as Jim told the crew, “your embarrassment can die for you—and take all your Ailes away.”

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We call it “Studio F” for a reason http://duranty.com/?p=279 http://duranty.com/?p=279#respond Wed, 17 May 2017 16:43:31 +0000 http://duranty.com/?p=279 From: Capt. Nemo Murdoch

To: All hands


Little Dill (that’s “Jimmy Dill” to you; the “Big Dill” is Lachlan, of course) will join me at an all-hands meeting today in Studio F to discuss the magic way we are getting rid of all the embarrassing, annoying right-wing viewers. It’s all part of the little Dill’s plan to make the business into something he can be as proud of as he was of The News of the World, when I sent him to run that into the ground.


My background report:

I told Pinch even before I came over here from the Times my opinion, which is that Rupert should have just adopted Les Hinton and sent the Double-Dills to a Cambodian orphanage. Instead, we have Big Dill faking autism and Jimmy Dill channeling his wife’s business tactics. Getting rid of Ailes and O’Reilly was all her. She made it sound so simple: severance for silence. Worked like a charm.

Mrs. Little Dill is a genius at fear manipulation. For example, there was a lot of angst last month when we renegotiated Hannity’s contract. Happened right after I got here. Rupert ask me to calm the boy down, since he was afraid Hannity would walk. Why? Because we fired one of his best friends and mentors, Bill Shine. I told them Mrs. Little Dill was right: nothing would pry Hannity out of the building. Where’s he going to go? Morning talk on WABC? So she told Little Dill to just ask him, “Sean, are you Sirius?” Not Sirius, he said. Just kidding.

Both Dills know, from personal experience, the best way to calm down anxious, unskilled workers is simple humiliation. So, the deal was made: we’d give Hannity the 20 mil, but he has to shut up about Shine and, just to remind him who’s the daddy, he’s have to do his show wearing ladies’ undergarments.

“That’s all?” he asked.

“Just that and you’re good, Sean,” said L’il Dill.

Hannity: “Show me the thong.”

Instant peace—if you don’t count all the weirdos screaming down the hall, “I’ll do it for free!”

Pinch tells me that now that we’re all on a combat footing, things are going much smoother at the paper. I miss the old place! Especially now with the press at war and everybody in the trenches against Trump. Pinch told Dill how it would work: “We throw poo, a big handful every day. Then we watch the monkeys screech through the briefing.” Does it work? Does it! Suddenly the daily briefing sounds like something from “Animal Planet” with Spicer ducking turds. Great television.

Every morning. Every. Single. Morning.

All working to plan. And Rupe—we’re saving a place for you down here!

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Lost in the Fox House http://duranty.com/?p=272 http://duranty.com/?p=272#respond Fri, 05 May 2017 10:04:53 +0000 http://duranty.com/?p=272 This little cubicle at Fox is pathetic. And why I ever let the Pinchlette convince me that I’d like working for his protege Jimmy M. is beyond me. I should have known from listening to Jimmy’s cell-phone convos with Becky B that he’d never be more than a half-wit trying to make his mentor proud. Plus, Pinch himself told me he thought there was something “congenitally weird” about these Murdoch Katzenjammers. So here I am in a utility closet where the walls are covered with torn O’Reilly posters. More on this once I find the charger. Battery’s almost gone.

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‘Bitter’? Me? http://duranty.com/?p=269 http://duranty.com/?p=269#respond Sat, 25 Feb 2017 01:07:13 +0000 http://duranty.com/?p=269 Thanks, Jeanette. Brings tears to my eyes…and a little more shine to my Pulitzer!

Bitter Harvest’ Offers a Clunky Lesson in Ukrainian History


Prettily filmed yet parochial, this film follows two lovers through a mass starvation in the early 1930s.

Who wants to see a movie about a food shortage?!

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Making an omelet doesn’t mean egging them on http://duranty.com/?p=254 http://duranty.com/?p=254#respond Sun, 19 Feb 2017 09:54:09 +0000 http://duranty.com/?p=254 To: Edit  board

From: Duranty

I sent a memo last week advising against just this:


Breaking the Anti-Immigrant Fever


Engaging in protests and public actions will embolden others to join in and hearten the vulnerable.

So our strategy is moving away from the unpredictable ballot box and toward street riots?

The problem is, the damn streets run everywhere, including up and down Eighth Avenue. Do you realize how expensive a “public action” in front of our glass-fronted building at 620 Eighth Avenue can be? The only thing keeping our doors open is civility (or laziness) on the part of half the country’s population, all of whom hate us. If we encourage the hoodie troopers to “join in and hearten the vulnerable” we should remember just how vulnerable we are.

(One more thing: If we’re going to carry guns, we really need to watch our feet:

Think of the message sent if the “day without immigrants,” in which foreign-born workers stayed home, became a week or a month.

…or a lifetime, which I think is their whole idea. Which idiot wrote this?! Did somebody forget to grab the passcard from Howell Raines?)

So just calm the hell down! Pinch, back away from the matches. Farenheit 451 and all that.



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Underselling our immigration ban http://duranty.com/?p=250 http://duranty.com/?p=250#respond Sun, 29 Jan 2017 10:51:13 +0000 http://duranty.com/?p=250 To: Scott Shane, newsroom

From: Duranty

Subject: Immigration ban


Scott did good work on this:

News Analysis

Immigration Ban Is Unlikely to Reduce Terrorist Threat, Experts Say


The unintended consequence of President Trump’s directive, many experts believe, is that it will make the risk worse.


…but he neglected to note that the real genius behind this plan was Barack. ABC had the story of the original Muslim ban. The Obama plan was the source of the experts’ belief. We should include Barack in as much of our backgrounding as possible. In a matter of months, he’ll he leading our cause and we want him to look every bit the visionary he truly is.



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Byron Dobell, you’ll be bored up there—but we’ll miss you http://duranty.com/?p=248 http://duranty.com/?p=248#respond Wed, 25 Jan 2017 09:47:31 +0000 http://duranty.com/?p=248 This morning’s paper carries Byron Dobell’s obit. We had hopes. Jim Goode had even rented the Guccioni reception center, but then we got word that he was going to the Other Place. Ah well, endit and all that. Good luck, Byron. We’ll rot in hell for you!

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The trouble with ‘Trump Troubles’ http://duranty.com/?p=241 http://duranty.com/?p=241#respond Mon, 23 Jan 2017 10:23:49 +0000 http://duranty.com/?p=241 To: Peter, Glenn, Maggie, newsroom

From: Duranty

Subject: ‘Trump Troubles’

Just back from the first weekend of our four-year retreat, and after talking to advertising, circ and editorial, it’s pretty clear we have a problem—or, to use our term, a ‘trouble.’

Rocky First Weekend for Trump Troubles Even His Top Aides


To the extent that there was a plan to take advantage of the first days of his administration, when a president is usually at his maximum leverage, President Trump threw it aside.

The trouble, of course, is Trump. I saw the video of Spicer’s short rant (aka, ‘briefing‘) sitting next to Adolph, Lou Fischer and Ike Deutscher. It was looped. We watched it until Lou started lip-synching the words. I got up, went to the door and turned to see Ochs soiling his pants. “What the hell was that?!” He was furious.

“That,” I said, “is our trouble.” So take notes, Peter, Glenn, Maggie. I’ve seen this before.

When a political class collapses, which is the usual consequence of one of these populist uprisings, every part of the political class collapses with it. That means, especially, the press. Imagine being the first journalist to arrive in Moscow the first week of October 1917, trying to understand the ‘trouble’ by reading the coverage in the Tsar’s favorite newspaper, Moskovskiye Vedomosti. According to Gallup and Pew, most people no longer trust us (if  you want to know how low we have sunk, I saw a poll that said people were twice as likely to trust their church as trust their newspaper!). We are on the wrong side of this historical moment, and it’s  going to last longer than Trump’s weekend.

Remember when we tried to convince New Yorkers to vote for Welprin  to replace Weiner? We got Turner, the Republican, instead. If we couldn’t influence the voters of Manhattan’s 9th district when we needed to, what chance do we have with the voters of Wisconsin or Arizona?

 To paraphrase Sally Field, they hate us, right now, they hate us.
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News? Fake or not, it’s not our business! http://duranty.com/?p=237 http://duranty.com/?p=237#respond Fri, 20 Jan 2017 10:35:45 +0000 http://duranty.com/?p=237 To: Pui-Wing Tam, newsroom

From: Duranty

Subject: ‘Fake’ news

Daily Report: The Continued Creation and Dissemination of Fake News


Good work on this but after talking to Adolph, Artie and Punch, I suppose somebody has to remind you that ‘news’ is not really in what we Brits call ‘the remit.’ We re not in the news business. If our job were to publish ‘news’—i.e., unvarnished accounts of what happened, when, why, how and all that, we’d have gone out of business when Doug Edwards signed on for CBS.

So on behalf of the bosses living and dead and all the younger strivers, let me remind you our job is not to print ‘news’ at all. It is to print ‘information’ that informs (and validates) the assumptions of our people, our readers, the people in our happy class. Every publication, on-line or off-, does the same thing: it gives readers what they feel they need. So every day, we serve our readers’ interests by making them feel completely secure in their opinions and giving them a completely comfortable worldview. Every single item in our paper appears in service to this goal.

Our people must never be challenged by what you call ‘news’. It is of no interest to them. It would only frighten and confuse them. Besides, news is ubiquitous. By the time we print it, everybody knows it happened. But of the zillions of events in the world, we select those that tell the story of our readers’ success. Our narrative is the story of correctness, of superior thought and sacred feelings. If other kinds of people coming to our newspaper want ‘news’, real or imaginary, let them eat Drudge.


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