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Los Angeles Times Anti-Armenian Discrimination

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  • #11
    Re: Los Angeles Times Anti-Armenian Discrimination

    L.A. Times Managing Editor Resigns After
    Killing Article on Armenian Genocide

    By Harut Sassounian
    Publisher, The California Courier
    Douglas Frantz, Managing Editor of the Los Angeles Times, resigned last week
    following his controversial decision in April to block the publication of a
    major article on the Armenian Genocide, written by reporter Mark Arax.
    After killing the story, Frantz sent an e-mail to Arax wrongly accusing him
    and five other Times reporters (four of whom are Armenians) of signing a
    "petition" to their editors on the Armenian Genocide. Frantz told Arax: "You have a
    conflict of interest that precludes you from writing about the Armenian
    Genocide." Frantz also alleged that Arax and Bob Ourlian (a Times editor) had gone
    around the newspaper's established system for assigning and editing articles.
    When this columnist first learned about the controversy back in mid-April, he
    contacted David Hiller, Publisher of The Times, who promised to look into the
    matter. Then, unexpectedly, Douglas Frantz called this writer and, talking in
    an abrasive manner, provided no rational explanation for his action.
    A week later, Jim O'Shea, Editor of The Times, met with this writer along
    with Zanku Armenian and Janet Janjigian to discuss the on-going controversy. The
    three Armenian community members told O'Shea that Frantz's accusations were
    false, discriminatory and illegal and that Arax and his fellow reporters had not
    signed a "petition." Instead, the six reporters had sent an internal memo to
    their editors in response to The Times' repeated mischaracterization of the
    Armenian Genocide in 2005, reminding them that the newspaper was not complying
    with its own written policy on the Genocide. This policy mandated that The
    Times not equivocate whenever it referred to the Armenian Genocide. The editors at
    that time did not find anything wrong with the memo. On the contrary, they
    thanked the reporters for their very proper reminder which was in keeping with
    The Times' own Code of Ethics. It required that staff members bring
    inaccuracies to the editors' attention.
    During the meeting, the three community members also told O'Shea that Frantz
    had falsely accused Arax and Ourlian of circumventing proper editorial
    channels in writing and editing the article on the Armenian Genocide. The newspaper's
    executives in the chain of command were fully aware of Arax's article and had
    slated it for publication on page one.
    Furthermore, the Armenian participants brought to O'Shea's attention Frantz's
    long-standing ties to Turkey. He was stationed in Istanbul for several years,
    first as bureau chief for The New York Times and then as investigative
    reporter for the Los Angeles Times. He had developed close contacts with various
    Turkish officials, including the Turkish Consul General in Los Angeles who
    boasted in a taped interview with Arax about his special relationship with Frantz.
    O'Shea was also told that Frantz was going to Istanbul in early May to moderate
    a panel that included a notorious genocide denialist. The Armenian group told
    O'Shea that it was Frantz not Arax who had a biased view on the Armenian
    Genocide. While promising to investigate these issues, O'Shea went along with
    Frantz and approved publication of a substitute article on the Armenian Genocide
    written by another reporter, thus killing Arax's original story.
    Seeing that there was no resolution in sight, this writer decided to make
    public the censorship of Arax's article and called for Frantz's dismissal. That
    column was posted on scores of websites, generating great public interest.
    Several newspapers and radio stations interviewed this columnist, further
    publicizing the controversy. The reaction was fast and furious. Thousands of e-mails
    were sent to The Times by Armenian and non-Armenian individuals and
    organizations, including xxxish World Watch, protesting Frantz's discriminatory action
    against Arax. The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) subsequently
    issued a nationwide Action Alert urging the Armenian community to demand Frantz's
    resignation. The Western Diocese of the Armenian Church also supported this
    initiative by posting on its website ANCA's Action Alert along with this
    writer's column. It is noteworthy that several Turkish writers rushed to Frantz's
    defense by urging fellow Turks to write to The Times in support of Frantz's
    censorship of the article on the Armenian Genocide. The Azeri Press Agency (APA),
    not to be left behind, claimed that Frantz told its U.S. Bureau that "he is
    grateful to all Azerbaijanis supporting him."
    David Hiller, Publisher of The Times, then held two follow-up meetings with a
    select group of Armenian community members. The first meeting included Editor
    O'Shea, Zanku Armenian of ANCA; Prof. Hrair Dekmejian, Director of USC
    Institute of Armenian Studies; Maria Mehranian, Chairwoman of Armenia Fund, Western
    U.S.; Harut Sassounian, Publisher of The California Courier; and Larry Zarian,
    former Mayor of Glendale. The second meeting was with Prof. Dekmejian, Raffi
    Hamparian of ANCA, Sassounian and Zarian). There were also more than a dozen
    phone conversations on this issue between Hiller, Sassounian and Zarian.
    Hiller told the Armenians during the second meeting that he had come to the
    conclusion that Mark Arax had done nothing wrong. In a written statement he
    issued on June 18, Hiller said that all of Arax's actions were "journalistically
    appropriate," including "his professional work in reporting on the Armenian
    genocide, and in communicating with the paper to ensure our adherence to
    established policy in referring to the genocide." Hiller went on to say that "The
    Times does not tolerate any discrimination in the reporting or editing of the
    news based on ethnic heritage or other basis."
    Furthermore, in a earlier e-mail sent to his newspaper's staff and readers,
    Hiller said: "I am very proud of the reporting that The Times does on the
    Armenian Genocide, and also the positions we have taken on our editorial pages. I
    am also proud and grateful for the welcome and support my new friends in the
    Southern California Armenian communities have shown me since my arrival here six
    months ago. I look forward to continuing that fine relationship and the
    strong and open communications on which it is based."
    Hiller also told the Armenian community members during the second meeting
    that the newspaper had signed a settlement agreement with Arax who has decided to
    retire and devote his time to writing books and taking an active role in
    Armenian affairs. The Fresno Bee quoted Arax's attorney, Warren Paboojian, as
    saying that Arax and The Times had reached an undisclosed financial settlement "to
    forestall a lawsuit alleging defamation and discrimination." Arax told the
    Bee that he could not comment on the terms because of a "confidentiality
    In a statement issued to The California Courier this week, Arax said: "I was
    truly humbled by the support from the Armenian community. It came from all
    quarters and across political and organizational divides, though I would be
    remiss if I didn't single out the special roles of Harut Sassounian, the ANC and
    the Western Diocese. This support turned one journalist's fight against
    censorship into a community battle, and the pressure brought to bear on the Los
    Angeles Times was instrumental in helping us reach a fair settlement. Despite my
    voluntary departure, the Armenian community should know that I am not leaving the
    profession of journalism. Indeed, now that I am unburdened of my newspaper
    work, I plan on writing even more books and national magazine stories on topics
    dear to me, including genocide denial. If all goes well, I plan on visiting
    Armenia in the near future and tracing the river valley that gave our family its
    Throughout this ordeal, the pressure was mounting on Frantz both from the
    outside and apparently from within The Times organization. The well-connected
    "" website reported that the word going around Times staffers was
    that "Editor Jim O'Shea ordered Frantz to make a public apology and that it
    wasn't going down well with Frantz." It is understandable why top executives of
    The Times did not want to make any embarrassing public comments on Frantz's
    blunder. Indeed, it was clear that by absolving Arax from any wrongdoing, The
    Times management was implying that Frantz had censored Arax's article for reasons
    that had nothing to do with journalism.
    Finally, the combination of escalating criticism and a job opportunity -- not
    surprisingly -- in Istanbul, led to Frantz's resignation last week after less
    than two years at his current position. It is noteworthy that just eight
    months ago, when several of his colleagues were leaving the newspaper as a result
    of management changes, Frantz was determined to stay and told his colleagues:
    "I am not quitting and I am asking all of you not to quit."
    Curiously, Frantz did not provide a reason for his resignation. However,
    several newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, made references to the
    Armenian controversy that preceded his departure. L.A. Times reporter Roger Vincent
    wrote: "Frantz recently was embroiled in an emotionally charged personnel
    issue. A group of Armenian Americans called for Frantz's ouster after he blocked
    the publication of an article on the Armenian genocide of the early 20th
    century." The Chicago Tribune reported that Frantz first approached The Times'
    Editor O'Shea a month ago offering to resign, saying that "being a managing editor
    was 'not a good fit.'"
    In a press release, the ANCA characterized Frantz's resignation as "an
    appropriate answer to his unprofessional behavior and anti-Armenian posture in the
    newsroom. The Los Angeles Times is a fine newspaper and deserves better than to
    have a genocide denier as a member of its senior staff. The fact that Frantz
    is returning to Istanbul tells the full story of where he stands."
    Armenians will now have to monitor Frantz's reportage from Istanbul in the
    Wall Street Journal. The Armenian community's concern is justified in view of
    the fact that for many years the Wall Street Journal has been more pro-Turkish
    than even the Turkish Daily News! Interestingly, Wall Street Journal's Managing
    Editor Marcus Brauchli was quoted by the L.A. Times as saying that he offered
    Frantz the position of Middle East and Africa bureau chief in Istanbul,
    "after [the Journal's] top executives reviewed his handling of the Armenian story."
    Given the Turkophile perspective of the Journal's editors, they may have
    considered Frantz's censorship of an article on the Armenian Genocide an asset
    rather than a liability! Notably, Frantz's new position at the Wall Street
    Journal is several levels below the rank he held at the L.A. Times, going from
    Managing Editor to working for a Deputy Managing Editor.
    During the past two months, Frantz's unwarranted actions created considerable
    tension between the Los Angeles Times and over half million Armenian American
    residents of Southern California. With his departure, the Armenian community
    can now look forward to the renewal of the constructive relationship that had
    developed in recent months with Publisher Hiller and other senior executives
    of one of America's most prominent newspapers.
    What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.


    • #12
      Re: Los Angeles Times Anti-Armenian Discrimination

      look!!!armenian stupid gays.You didn't understand history and you will not anytime.Because you are miserable and you are cursed race!!