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To: Pulitzer Board

Take Pulitzer Away from Reporter Who Lied About Hiroshima

Petition Text

Rescind Pulitzer Prize for William L. Laurence who was paid by the War Department to lie about Hiroshima in the New York Times.

Why is this important?

After Wilfred Burchett reported on the death and dying at Hiroshima, the Pentagon assigned reporters to dishonestly oppose that reporting with lies. One of these was William Laurence. His front-page story, U.S. ATOM BOMB SITE BELIES TOKYO TALES: TESTS ON NEW MEXICO RANGE CONFIRM THAT BLAST, AND NOT RADIATION, TOOK TOLL, ran on September 12, 1945 in the New York Times.

"William L. Laurence went on to write a series of ten articles for the Times that served as a glowing tribute to the ingenuity and technical achievements of the nuclear program. Throughout these and other reports, he downplayed and denied the human impact of the bombing. Laurence won the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting."

"It turns out that William L. Laurence was not only receiving a salary from The New York Times. He was also on the payroll of the War Department. In March 1945, General Leslie Groves had held a secret meeting at The New York Times with Laurence to offer him a job writing press releases for the Manhattan Project, the U.S. program to develop atomic weapons. The intent, according to the Times, was 'to explain the intricacies of the atomic bomb’s operating principles in laymen’s language.' Laurence also helped write statements on the bomb for President Truman and Secretary of War Henry Stimson."

Amy Goodman and David Goodman wrote about this at


2015-08-11 08:59:12 -0400

25 signatures reached

2015-08-03 21:58:57 -0400

10 signatures reached