Duranty, however, failed to mention any of this in his articles. In fact, he painted a rather pleasant picture of life in the Soviet Union, and assured his readers that there was no starvation. How and why would a journalist write such unquestionable falsehoods?
Columbia University Professor Mark von Hagen, who worked with the management of the New York Times to investigate Duranty's writings, commented that Duranty
frequently writes in the enthusiastically propagandistic language of his sources
Much of the 'factual' material is dull and largely uncritical recitation of Soviet sources, whereas his efforts at 'analysis' are very effective renditions of the Stalinist leadership's self-understanding of their murderous and progressive project to defeat the backwardness of Slavic, Asiatic peasant Russia.
Duranty has knowingly repeated the texts of the Soviet propaganda agency in his articles, despite his clear awareness that the claims were false.
The management of the New York Times, distancing itself from Duranty's work, commented that
Other writers in the Times and elsewhere have discredited this coverage.
It remains something of a mystery why Duranty would sacrifice his own credibility and professionalism to support the dictatorship which would ultimately kill millions of its own citizens.