The Corner

Politics & Policy

The New York Times Reframes History

The New York Times’s 1619 Project purports to “reframe American history by considering what it would mean to regard 1619 as our nation’s birth year.”

The Times, ostensibly a newspaper, wasn’t around in 1619 to publish the “first rough draft of history” for this period. So now it’s decided to rewrite it to its liking.

The New York Times was, however, around to publish the first rough draft of numerous other significant events in history. One that comes immediately to mind is the Stalin-era 1932 famine in which millions of Ukrainians died. The precise number of deaths (ranging from 3 million to 10 million) is lost to history, in part because the New York Times — per its Moscow bureau chief Walter Duranty — reported that “[a]ny report of famine in Russia is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda.” The Times confidently informed the world that there was “no famine . . .nor is there likely to be.”

The Times got a Pulitzer for that titanic debacle and other articles that ignored  Stalin’s manifold atrocities. Maybe it should devote a tiny portion of its 1619 Project resources to reframing its    history of the Ukrainian famine.

More recently, Times leadership admits to dedicating the last two years of its vast reporting resources to the Trump-Russia collusion hoax. An American president elected with Russian assistance. The Times got another Pulitzer for this travesty. Then the Mueller report issued. Yet another major story the Times could reframe, perhaps by training as much attention on the involvement of the upper levels of the Obama administration in the hoax.

The list of “reframing” possibilities is endless. But the New York Times would do well to correct its own profound mistakes and biases before rewriting history to suit its ideological imperatives.

Peter Kirsanow — Peter N. Kirsanow is an attorney and a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

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