Sunday, October 27, 2013


September 28
Recipe for Reassuring Readers

Today is the international day devoted to the human right to information.

Perhaps a good opportunity to recall that, a month or so after atom bombs annihilated Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the New York Times discounted rumors that were terrifying the world. 

On September 12, 1945, the daily published a front-page story by its chief science reporter William L. Laurence, which challenged the alarmist notions head-on. There was no radioactivity whatsoever in those razed cities, the article assured one and all, it's only "the Japanese continuing their propaganda . . "

The scoop won Laurence the Pulitzer Prize.

Sometime later it came out that he was receiving two monthly paychecks: one from the New York Times, the other from the payroll of the US War Department. 

– from Children of the Days : a Calendar of Human History / by Eduardo Galeano, translated by Mark Fried