Lubomyr Prytulak    Letter 01 McManus     11-Mar-1993   Two equivalent affronts
The following letter was mailed to just over 100 of the leading TIME magazine employees that were found listed on the masthead in the issue of 15 Mar 93, p. 13.  Enclosed with it were photocopies of the TIME magazine Lviv Rape photograph of Feb 22, the Ukrainian Weekly editorial in the issue of Feb 21, my letter to TIME magazine of Feb 22, the Danylo Struk letter to the Ukrainian Weekly published in the issue of Feb 28, and the Danylo Struk letter to TIME published in the issue of March 15 (which was available on March 11 because TIME issues come out several days earlier than the nominal date of publication).

The purpose of this mailing was to arouse internal dissension within TIME, based on the expectation that there would be among TIME employees some with high integrity and high standards of journalistic ethics who would pressure TIME into issuing a retraction and apology.  My expectation was that a retraction and apology could not be won by means of external pressure alone, as all the complaints against the offending photograph and caption might pass exclusively through the hands of a few individuals who were unprincipled and unscrupulous.

The only certain response to this mailing was a communication from a single TIME magazine employee who informed me that the person who had written the caption in question was Eleanor Taylor, that her telephone number was (212) 522-3482, and that she was now "mortified," although I do not now remember, nor have any record of, whether she was mortified merely at the sharp and broad reaction to her caption, or at its being wrong.

March 11, 1993

Jason McManus
Editor-in-chief, Time
Time & Life Building
Rockefeller Center
New York, NY 10020

Dear Mr. McManus:

The photo captioned "Traditions of atrocity: Jewish girl raped by Ukrainians in Lvov, Poland, in 1945" (Time, February 22, 1993, p. 28) continues to rankle.

Ukrainians do not have any tradition of atrocity, the photo was not relevant to the article, the photo is of Soviet origin and therefore unreliable, Time seems unable to provide any documentation supporting its authenticity, middle-of-the-street raping in Lviv in 1945 could only have been conducted by the infamous Red Army, and the fact that the caption didn't get the country right indicates that it had been carelessly written.

An equivalent affront to the black community would have been to publish a photograph supplied by the Ku Klux Klan without supporting documentation of a naked white girl with the caption "Traditions of lust: A white girl raped by blacks in Baton Rouge, Texas."  An equivalent affront to the Jewish community would have been to publish a photograph supplied by the American Nazi Party without supporting documentation of the mutilated body of a child with the caption "Traditions of ritual murder: A Christian child killed by Jews in Tel Aviv, Palestine."  If it is integrity and professionalism that keeps Time from publishing material of this quality about blacks and Jews, then it is difficult to see why the same consideration should not be extended to other groups.

Time's publication of Professor Struk's letter (March 15, 1993, p. 6) only adds insult to injury.  Time's editing gutted the letter of the charge that the photograph is of questionable authenticity, and even twisted Professor Struk's words so as to make it appear that he agreed that Lviv was in Poland when in fact he had protested that it was not, and so as to make it appear that he believed that the girl was Jewish when in fact he had expressed doubt.

The Ukrainian community continues to await the retraction and apology which would signal a reawakening in Time of a higher sense of journalistic responsibility.

Sincerely yours,

Lubomir Prytulak