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Sen. Ted Cruz slammed the Pulitzer Prize Committee for awarding the New York Times the top honor in commentary for its 1619 Project.
The 1619 Project aimed to reexamine the legacy of slavery in the United States and was timed for the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans in Virginia. Critics of the project, including some historians, have argued that the series is based on a flawed premise: that American colonists revolted from England with the goal of maintaining slavery in America.
“Pulitzer especially beclowns itself,” Cruz tweeted Monday. “Prize supposed to go to work that ‘adheres to the highest journalistic principles.’ NYT’s 1619 project is explicitly not journalism; it is propaganda.”
He continued: “NYT Executive Editor Dean Baquet was caught in a leaked transcript admitting it blatantly political: “We built our newsroom to cover one story [Russia collusion] & we did it truly well. Now we have to regroup, and shift resources and emphasis to take on a different story.”
In the series’ opening essay, award-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones wrote about how Africans who came to the colonies in bondage have shaped the idea of traditional American values.
“We were told once, by virtue of our bondage, that we could never be American,” she wrote. “But it was by virtue of our bondage that we became the most American of all.”
An editor’s note was still present at the bottom of the essay as of Monday, which reads, “A passage has been adjusted to make clear that a desire to protect slavery was among the motivations of some of the colonists who fought the Revolutionary War, not among the motivations of all of them.”
Other critics were quick to voice disgust that the prize honored the 1619 Project.
Author: Frances Rice