Press Foundation renews call for Russiagate Pulitzers to be returned

by WorldTribune Staff, February 22, 2022

In his recent court filing, special counsel John Durham alleges the purpose behind Russian “collusion” allegations was to establish a “narrative” between then-Republican presidential candidate Trump and Russia. Trump denied it at the time and many times since, including during an interview with Lesley Stahl on “60 Minutes.”

Stahl said there was “no evidence” for Trump’s claim. Trump said there was and that Stahl’s job was to investigate and find it.

“Now that there is at least a credible allegation, will Stahl deliver a correction?” columnist Cal Thomas asked in a Feb. 18 op-ed for the New York Post.

“Not likely, and neither is it likely other major media, which flogged the Russian collusion story, will acknowledge error. These include The Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN, MSNBC and NPR, as well as numerous liberal Web sites,” Thomas wrote.

When a media outlet is awarded a Pulitzer Prize for reporting as fact something that isn’t, it should return the Pulitzer, the Free Press Foundation said.

In 2018, the New York Times and Washington Post shared the Pulitzer Prize for their national reporting of President Donald Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia. They were awarded $15,000 in a joint prize.

According to the Pulitzer board, the Post and Times received the award “for deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the nation’s understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to the Trump campaign, the President-elect’s transition team and his eventual administration.”

A Pulitzer has never been revoked.

Robert Morton, President of, said the future of American journalism is hanging in the balance.

“Either these awards should be rescinded or the New York Times and the Washington Post should uphold the highest traditions of the American Free Press and voluntarily surrender them,” Morton said.

In 2003, Pulitzer considered rescinding the 1932 award to infamous New York Times’ Moscow correspondent Walter Duranty, who was an apologist for one of history’s bloodiest tyrants, Joseph Stalin.

After six months of consideration, the Pulitzer board decided not to rescind Duranty’s prize, explaining at the time that “A Pulitzer Prize for reporting is awarded not for the author’s body of work or for the author’s character but for the specific pieces entered in the competition.”

The 2018 award winning journalists reporting on Trump-Russia “collusion” were Maggie Haberman, Jo Becker, Matt Apuzzo and Mark Mazetti from the Times and Rosalind Helderman, Tom Hamburger, Ellen Nakashima, Adam Entous and Greg Miller from the Post.

In his Feb. 15 column, Thomas noted, “The New York Times published a story about the Durham report on its website but seemed to dismiss it as ‘old news,’ a familiar tactic often used when it reported on the various Clinton scandals.”

Thomas added: “The Times and Washington Post won Pulitzer Prizes for basically repeating Democratic talking points. The prizes should be returned and the newspapers penalized by not allowing them to apply for another one for at least 10 years.”

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