Pulitzer Prize

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Apr 9 09:17:52 MDT 2002

NY Times, December 9, 2001

Ask Not What . . .

The first Greatest Generation won its stripes by defending America and its
allies. This Greatest Generation has to win its stripes by making sure that
the America that was passed onto us, and that now claims for itself the
leadership of a global war against evil terrorists, is worthy of that task.

Mr. President, where do we enlist?

full: http://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/09/opinion/09FRIE.html


NY Times, April 9, 2002

Pulitzers Focus on Sept. 11, and The Times Wins 7

The New York Times won a record seven Pulitzer Prizes yesterday, including
six for its news coverage of the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, its victims,
its causes and its aftermath, all transformative events in the modern
history of the United States. The attacks and the war on terrorism were the
focus of 8 of the 14 Pulitzer Prizes awarded for journalism...

"We are witness to an extraordinary moment in the history of this
newspaper, just an extraordinary moment," said Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the
publisher of The Times, addressing hundreds of reporters and editors
gathered in the newspaper's newsroom off Times Square. "But it is built on
the back of a real tragedy..."

Among the individual awards, Thomas Friedman, the Times columnist, was
awarded the Pulitzer Prize for commentary, his third award.

full: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/09/nyregion/09PULI.html


Columbia Journalism Review, November, 2001 / December, 2001

Containing Multitudes

BY RICHARD NORTON SMITH; Richard Norton Smith is a presidential historian
currently working on a biography of Nelson A. Rockefeller.

Few careers better illustrate the Janus face of modern journalism, its
ability to inform or inflame, educate or pander, than that of Joseph
Pulitzer. Long before the battleship USS Maine exploded in Havana harbor on
the evening of February 15, 1898, Pulitzer and his New York World were
embroiled in their own war against the bombastic New York Journal and its
unscrupulous owner, William Randolph Hearst. Enough information about the
disaster appeared in the Journal to prompt the Maine's captain to suspect
links between Hearst and the saboteurs of his ship. Not to be outdone,
Pulitzer dispatched a tugboat to the waters around Havana and attempted,
unsuccessfully, to have World divers confirm his hasty judgment that the
ship was a victim of Spanish treachery. Within days of the tragedy, the
World gloried in sales of five million copies -- "the largest circulation
of any newspaper printed in any language in any country."

Pulitzer's capacity for moral indignation was matched by his unerring
instinct for lurid profitability. "The daily journal is like the mirror,"
he loftily asserted. "Let those who are startled by it blame the people who
are before the mirror, not the mirror, which only reflects their features
and actions." Coming from the man who almost singlehandedly shamed his
countrymen into building a pedestal for the Statue of Liberty; who sent
Nellie Bly into a Dickensian asylum to expose the mistreatment of mental
patients; and who boasted to a friend, "I can never be president because I
am a foreigner, but some day I am going to elect a president," this bore
scarcely more relation to the truth than the reputed race of long-tailed
savages ("man-monkeys") imaginatively drawn for the benefit of the World's
Sunday readers...

As if in penance for his wartime excesses, Pulitzer endowed the Columbia
School of Journalism with $ 2 million in memory of his daughter Lucille.
His marriage was a complicated one, thriving on physical separation.
Although Kate Pulitzer complained that her elusive husband was as hard to
locate as "a criminal hiding from justice," she endured his tantrums as the
unavoidable price of her own lavish life-style. She found consolation in
knowing that while the irascible publisher required no fewer than six
secretary companions to keep him entertained, he made do with one wife.

Louis Proyect
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