12 May 2007

1686) Armenian Lobby Threatens Los Angeles Times


They demand the managing editor’s resignation . . . .
“… A dispute that has been quietly bubbling in the Times newsroom went public today when the publisher of the California Courier demanded that LAT managing editor Doug Frantz be fired for blocking publication of an article on the Armenian genocide by senior staff writer Mark Arax, who is of Armenian origin… “ says Kevin Roderick of laobserved.com. [1]

According to the same article, Frantz emailed LA Observed and wrote this:

“ I put a hold on a story because of concerns that the reporter had expressed personal views about the topic in a public manner and therefore was not a disinterested party, which is required by our ethics guidelines, and because the reporter and an editor had gone outside the normal procedures for compiling and editing articles. My actions were based solely on the journalistic ethics and standards that we follow to ensure that readers of Times news coverage are not affected by the personal views of our reporters and editors.”

Arax, who lives in Fresno and writes for West magazine of LAT, reportedly has lodged a discrimination complaint and threatened a federal lawsuit. While he tells Roderick he could not comment (on the dispute), others in the Armenian lobby did.

“…When a company discriminates against an employee on the basis of his or her ethnic origin, it violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits ‘employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.’ It appears that such a breach of the law took place when Douglas Frantz, the Managing Editor of the Los Angeles Times, blocked the publication of an article on the Armenian Genocide written by Mark Arax, a distinguished journalist of Armenian origin, who has worked at the Times for 20 years…” said one Armenian writer. [2]

Reading Frantz’s own words above, it seems clear to me that Frantz did not discriminate against employment of anyone on the basis of his ethnic or religious origin; Frantz tried to uphold the journalistic objectivity in covering a controversial issue.


Reportedly, on April 11, 2007, in an e-mail to Arax, Frantz accused Arax of having a conflict of interest that precludes Arax from writing about the Armenian genocide objectively. [2]

Note Frantz is not saying “you cannot write on genocide”; he is saying “you cannot write on genocide OBJECTIVELY”. How can anyone argue with that?

Has anyone ever read any Armenian writer covering the Turkish victims of Armenian atrocities during the World War One?

And just because the Armenian writers refuse to talk about the massive Turkish suffering the Armenian revolutionaries deliberately caused, does that mean Turkish suffering ceases to exist?


What was a jolting revelation to me was the fact that five Armenian staff writers, -- Mark Arax, Ralph Vartabedian, Robin Abcarian, Greg Krikorian, and Chuck Philips, had apparently signed a joint letter back in September 2005 “reminding” the Los Angeles Times editors that the newspaper was not complying with its own policy of calling the Armenian Genocide a genocide.

I don't know which is more repulsive and embarrassing? That a major newspaper like LAT would have a written policy on passing judgment -- clearly reserved for "competent tribunals" and "due processes" -- on a controversial event? Or that staff writers belonging to an ethnic group that is a party to the conflict can gang up and “remind”, or shall I say, “dictate” terms to LAT, with the fake courtesy of a Nazi officer commanding a firing squad?

What other groups wrote “joint letters” to LAT? I, as a trusting reader, really want to know.

What else is “reminded” LAT editors by groups of ethnic writers? Please share with us, your readers.

LAT editors reportedly had no problems with this strange “reminder” and some even thanked the ethnic reporters. WOW! Talk about “objective journalists” who need to be “reminded” of how they shall twist the truth about certain ethnic issues by the members of that ethnic community. And if anyone strays an inch, boom!, another joint letter “reminding” not to slip up again… Yes, Sir! Whatever you wish, Sir! That’s what we shall write, Sir! I cannot believe what I am reading in these accidental revelations.


Armenian writer claims [2] that matters were made worse by Frantz when, in his e-mail, Frantz falsely referred to the joint letter as a "petition," and on that basis accused Arax of taking "a position" on the Armenian Genocide.

Hmmm. Joint letter in question cannot be considered a petition? Let’s go to the dictionary on that and let’s see what it says: [3]

Pe.ti.tion : a solemn request: entreaty.
En.traet.y : an earnest request: plea.
Sol.emn : deeply serious: grave.

Put them all together and you get

Pe.ti.tion : a deeply serious request

Now tell me again why that joint letter cannot or should not be considered “a deeply serious request”?

If you ask me, that’s exactly what Frantz did and Frantz was absolutely correct. But then again, who am I to argue with legal scholars?


Then there is this: “… Frantz was not just blocking one particular article and its author, but all future articles on the Armenian Genocide that may be written by any of these … journalists, thus practically issuing a gag order that silences all Armenian Americans working at the Times...” [2] There. Any questions?

I guess it is futile to “remind” the Armenian writer that Frantz is not blocking all future articles on the “alleged” Armenian Genocide, but he may be blocking all future “partisan” articles on the “alleged” Armenian Genocide. The operative word here is “partisan”. Who can blame Frantz for that? Good for him! We need more principled editors like him. That’s what I think…

Here is a piece of jewel: “…By the same logic, Frantz is implying that Latinos will be barred from writing on illegal immigrants, African American journalists from covering civil rights, Jewish-American reporters from writing about the Holocaust and Asian-Americans covering issues peculiar to their community…” [2]

I don’t know about all that, but I suspect Frantz may be implying no more journalists-with-a-cause dressed up as “disinterested” writers dissecting controversial issues “objectively”. At least that is how I read Frantz’s words.


The Armenian writer continues: “…Jim O’Shea, the top editor of the Los Angeles Times, in a meeting with this writer last week, said that the letter … was not a “petition” at all, and that there was nothing improper about it. In fact, he admitted that the letter upheld existing L.A. Times policy…”

Well done, O’Shea! First, you taught us all a lesson in English that a joint letter is not “a deeply serious request” at all, even if dictionary says so. Then you found nothing wrong with a pressure tactic by some at your newspaper. And finally, you admitted that there is policy of distorting the truth about the Turkish-Armenian conflict. I always suspected it but never really knew it for sure.

Now I know why my letters are censored at Los Angeles Times.

Now I know why a LAT editor wrote to me “… If I were you, I would not write anymore on this issue… because whatever I write will not be published…” back in 2002.

Now I know why so many of you managers and directors, when I went up the pecking order at LAT one by one in 2002, responded to me strangely claiming this was with the “editorial freedom” of the journalist in charge of editing a local edition of LAT (Glendale.)

Editorial freedom? You at LAT just don’t want to hear the other side of the story. You want the unsuspecting public to only know one side: the Armenian. You ignore, dismiss, and disregard the Turkish views. And you call that “consensus”.

Call it what you will, though, because I decided to call it something shorter and more compact: BIAS !

What you call “editorial freedom”, I call a “CENSORSHIP”.

And what you call “internal editorial policy” on the alleged genocide, I call “PARTISANSHIP”.


About the LAT policy of calling the alleged Armenian genocide a genocide, let me remind the LAT editors that VERDICT WITHOUT DUE PROCESS EQUALS LYNCHING. Such a policy violates article 6 of U.N. code which states that genocide verdict can only be given by a "competent court" after "due process" where both sides are properly represented and evidence cross examined. Such a "competent court" was never convened in the case of Turkish-Armenian conflict and a genocide verdict does not exist. Genocide claim, therefore, is political, not historical or factual. It reflects Western bias against Muslims in general and Turks in particular. The term genocide must be used with the qualifier "alleged", if one values ideals like truth, objectivity, and fairness.

Also, genocide claim is based on racist and dishonest history. Racist because it ignores the much larger Turkish suffering and death toll while it honors only Armenian dead and suffering. Dishonest because it dismisses brutal Armenian armed revolts, domestic and international Armenian terrorism, and supreme Armenian treason (as in joining an invading enemy army to kill their Muslim neighbors) which caused their temporary wartime resettlement in another part of the Ottoman Empire (hence cannot even be labeled a deportation.)

Such a policy of recognizing Armenian claims as genocide will deeply insult Turks around the globe and derail the excellent relations currently enjoyed between the U.S. and Turkey. It will, no doubt, please Armenia and but also guaranteed outrage Turkey, America's close ally since the Korean War of 1950-53. Turks stood shoulder to shoulder with Americans in Gulf War, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. American gratitude and thanks will appear to come (because of the Armenian lobby) in the form of the worst insult that can be dished out to an entire nation after the worst injury suffered by that nation (i.e. the forgotten tragedy the Turks suffered during WWI.)

History is not a matter of conviction, popular belief, consensus, media frenzy, political resolutions, propaganda, or other such PR tools. History is a matter of honest research, peer review, thoughtful exchange, informed debate, and objective scholarship. Even historians, by definition, cannot decide on a genocide verdict, which is reserved for a "competent court" with its legal experts and due process.

What we witness today amounts to lynching of the Turks by Armenians to satisfy the age old Armenian hate, bias, and bigotry. American values like fairness, presumption of innocence until proven guilty, objectivity, balance, honesty, and freedom of speech are stumped under the Armenian lobbyists’ feet. Unprovoked , unjustified, and unfair defamation and thus outraging of Turkey, one of America's closest allies in the troubled Middle East, in order to appease some nagging Armenian demands is not helping American interests. Hate based policies and proclamations have never been an American way to do business. Why start at LAT now?

Anyone claiming genocide verdict by the much discredited Armenian evidence is engaging in "convicting and executing without due process" (not unlike lynch mobs.) And anyone who, knowingly or unknowingly, is not using the qualifier "alleged" before the term genocide is biased, bigoted, and dishonest.


Back to the row at LAT… The editors endorsed Frantz's journalistic objectivity and honesty by assigning their Washington reporter, Richard Simon, to balance the story. I read Simon’s account of the alleged Armenian genocide (“Genocide Resolution Still Far From Certain”, LAT, April 21, 2007) and was disappointed the way he slanted the story towards the Armenian claims. But I’ll take his treatment over Armenian writers’ anytime. At least, Simon mentioned that Turks disagree with Armenians on the characterization of the Turkish-Armenians conflict.

I was disappointed that Simon included comments from Taner Akcam without mentioning his past which shows Akcam’s motives and colors his judgment: a convicted felon who escaped from a prison in Turkey. He talks about Ottoman archives but cannot read, write, or understand Ottoman Turkish (a complex combination of Turkish, Arabic, Persian, steeped in Turkish tradition and folklore.)

This shortcoming is obvious in his latest book when he clearly misinterpreted Ataturk’s comments which were in Ottoman Turkish. Akcam is introduced as a historian but his PhD is in sociology.

Then there is the reporting on the Jewish Americans which leaves a lot to be desired. One comes away with a view that Jews agree that the genocide happened and that they shy away from recognizing it as such in order not to offend Turkey. That is not so. A simple question will reveal what I mean. Did Jews establish Jewish armies behind German lines, kill German citizens, join advancing enemy armies, stage bloody uprising, terrorize the German countryside, and more in order to establish a Jewish state on German soil? Of course not! But the Ottoman-Armenians committed all of those heinous crimes and more in the Ottoman-East before, during, and after the World War One… How can the two experiences, namely the factual Jewish Holocaust and the bogus Armenian genocide, be uttered in the same breath, let alone be considered equals? Doing so is an insult to the silent memory of 6+ million Jews murdered by the Nazis just because they were Jews, not because of what Jews did or did not do. How can anyone with a shred of decency, honesty, and logic consider these two diametrically opposite experiences even remotely related? One must subscribe to the views held by the five signatories of that infamous joint letter to LAT editors to equate a Holocaust that was proven after due process in Nuremberg with a bogus genocide that failed to even kick start the aborted Malta Tribunal (1919-1921) due to lack of evidence.

There is more, but I think you get the message. I will not go into Armenian propaganda, agitation, terror, armed rebellions, treason, in that order between 1890-1915, to make the case that “innocent Armenian” is a myth.

Yes, I have problems with Simon’s treatment but I can live with it BECAUSE I DO NOT DISTRUST HIM and because I BELIEVE HE TRIED HIS BEST TO BE OBJECTIVE and I also think HE IS NOT A PARTISAN!

*** The Armenian writer says Frantz told Arax in an April 11 e-mail that he had no questions about his abilities as a reporter and writer. " …”Frantz) did use the excuse that Arax and Washington editor, Bob Ourlian, had gone around the ‘established system for assigning and editing stories.’ Obviously, this was a red-herring. The editors in the chain of command both in Washington and Los Angeles were aware of Arax’s article and none of them had any questions or complaints about procedure or content. In fact, not even Frantz himself cited a single factual or bias problem with the story. The only problems he did point to were that Arax had taken a ‘personal stand on the Armenian Genocide, which allegedly led him to have a ‘conflict of interest,’ presumably because of his Armenian heritage…” [2]

I think Frantz’s intervention was justified, timely, and professional. Who needs to read more baseless diatribe from yet another Armenian demonizing Turks and Turkey. If I am going to be given equal time or equal space to respond and refute, then I can live with any editorial coming from an Armenian propagandist… any one of them! The problem arises when the Armenians level unsubstantiated accusations in the name of “freedom of speech in America” and my responses are “censored” in the name of “editorial freedom in America”. Because in that case, it all that boils down to “lynching in America”!

After expressing displeasure with Simon’s treatment of April 21, the Armenian writer continues to chastise Frantz and others: “… There was no reason to kill the Arax story to run Simon’s. Both articles could have been published, one as a sidebar to the other. In a vain attempt to appease Arax and defuse a looming controversy that is sure to anger the half-a-million strong Armenian community in Southern California, a handful of paragraphs from Arax’s article were incorporated into Simon’s story. The editors told this writer that they were dismayed that Arax refused to have his name jointly appear on the byline for Simon’s story. Even then, despite Arax's justified protests, the editors added a tagline at the end of the article, stating that Arax "contributed to this report." [2]

Whole lot of nothing, if you ask me. Let’s move on.


Then the Armenian writer lists the following grievances which he finds improper and possibly even illegal:

“… Frantz falsely accused Mark Arax and five other Times’ reporters of signing a "petition" on the Armenian Genocide…as a pretext to block Arax’s story on the Armenian Genocide…” [2]

I just showed above that is a joint letter with “a deeply serious request” is clearly a petition and, therefore, this claim is baseless. [3]


“… Frantz has reportedly made comments to at least one co-worker at The Times that he personally opposed the congressional resolution on the Armenian Genocide. ..” [2]

So what? It’s a free country!

“… (Frantz) also said he believes that Armenians rebelled against the Turks…” [2]

Isn’t that a fact? What did Armenian do in Van in the spring of 1915? Picnic? What about Mus, Bitlis, Marash, Zeytun, Sasun, and countless other places? What did the Armenians do there? Ball room dancing? Armenians cannot white wash the heinous Armenian crimes victimizing Turks simply by signing joint letters to gullible editors.

“… an argument used by Turkish denialists to justify the genocide…” [2]

No, genocide is an argument used by “Armenian falsifiers” to justify the four T’s:

1- Tumult (Armenian armed uprisings in many Ottoman cities and towns),

2- Terrorism (killing Muslim neighbors from 1890-1923),

3- Treason (joining invading enemy armies during a war of survival for the motherland)

4- Turkish suffering (523,000 Muslims, mostly Turks, brutally killed by the Armenian nationalists with help and support from the allies)


“…Frantz was stationed for several years in Turkey, first working for the New York Times as Istanbul Bureau Chief and then for the Los Angeles Times during which he may have developed very natural friendships with Turkish individuals and officials…”

So? We Turks are very warm, outgoing people… We love to make friends, eat, drink, sing, dance, be happy. We are not good at gloom-and-doom stuff like the Armenians. We do not harbor hate or vengeance. Turkish hospitality is a trait that engulfs anyone, even you Armenians. Even the most hate-filled Armenian writer, if and when he goes to Turkey, comes back stunned and dazed with all the unsolicited kindness, respect, and hospitality shown by any Turk any where. And that, anyone can take to the bank! One cannot hold befriending Turks against someone.


“…The Turkish Consul General in Los Angeles has reportedly bragged about his close friendship with Douglas Frantz and said that he turns to him whenever he has a problem with The Times…”

How would you know that? What is your source? Where is your proof? Or is this one of those “Andonian” kind of proofs?


“… This writer was told by the editor of The Times, Jim O’Shea, who has known Frantz for many years from their time together at the Chicago Tribune, that Frantz has a very abrasive personality…” [2]

I don’t know about that. This sounds like gossip to me. One man’s abrasive is another man’s doggedly determined. Pass.

“… No wonder he was short-tempered and abrupt during a phone conversation that he initiated…” [2]


“… falsely accusing this writer of threatening him, when in fact he was simply being told that the controversy regarding the Arax article MIGHT UPSET THE ARMENIAN COMMUNITY, if it turned out that the story was blocked due to the Armenian background of the journalist…”

I don’t know… This sound terribly like a thinly veiled threat to me. Especially in view of the hate crimes and terrorist acts committed by Armenians in Southern California (Please see the series about “Armenian Terrorism” in the archives below.) Frantz surely knows about what some brainwashed Armenian teenagers can do; remember Hampig Sassonian? The 19 year old Armenian terrorist who assassinated the Turkish diplomat Kemal Arikan on January 27, 1982 in broad daylight on Wilshire Boulevard? Threatening like that is serious stuff. It is like saying to a kid “Your dad might get upset tonight if he hears about what you did today.” It is definitely, no matter how you slice it.


“…Frantz is scheduled to moderate a panel at a conference in Istanbul, May 12-15, on ‘Turkey: Sharing the Democratic Experience.’ The panelists are asked to discuss: ‘Can the Turkish experience be emulated by other countries in the region and beyond?’ Among the speakers at the conference are the President, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Turkey….” [2]

Good for him. The world could use an example like Turkey, a secular and democratic state with social values and under rule of law. Turkey can show the world that Islam and democracy can co-exist without having to revert to an “Islamic State”. If the U.S. listened to Turkey back in 2003, Saddam would still be ejected without the Iraq war. In that regard, Frantz is doing more for America, it seems, than Pelosi, Schiff, and Radanovich combined.

“… One of the participants on the panel chaired by Frantz is none other than Andrew Mango, a notorious genocide denialist…” [2]

Denialist : read one who exposes Armenian falsifications

“… Despite being sponsored by the International Press Institute, the conference does not cover the lack of freedom of speech in Turkey, the jailing and killing of journalists such as Hrant Dink, and draconian laws on "denigrating Turkishness…” [2]

I am touched by the Armenian writers concern (!) for the well-being of Turkey and Turks.

“…O'Shea told this writer that the Los Angeles Times will be paying Frantz' airfare to participate in this conference…” [2]

Seem like O’Shea is very lovey-dovey with the Armenian writer. O’Shea even shares the inner workings at LAT with him. He will not even respond to my e-mails… (Sigh!)

“… Would The Times pay for Frantz’s trip, if he were moderating a panel that included David Irving, the infamous Holocaust revisionist?..”

Is the “alleged” Armenian genocide an irrefutable fact, court tested and proven, like the Jewish Holocaust? So while it is not right to deny a fact like Holocaust, it is every honest and civilized person’s duty to expose the bogus Armenian genocide. Armenians lack credibility based on the soundness of their genocide claims alone. They know this well and that’s why they invoke the memory of Holocaust to create “credibility by association”. Frantz or no Frantz, the two experiences cannot be uttered in the same breath.


“… Arax has filed a discrimination complaint with The Times against Frantz. He is also considering a Federal lawsuit for the possible violation of his civil rights. The Times executives are expected to make a decision this week on what action, if any, they would take against Frantz. The Publisher of The Times, David Hiller, and the Editor, Jim O’Shea, reassured this writer last week that they would not tolerate any executive who has a bias against the Armenian Genocide and discriminates against Armenian-American employees. Once the internal investigation is complete, the expectation is that the top management of The Times would do the right thing and find an appropriate way of eliminating the hostile working environment created by Douglas Frantz at one of the nation’s greatest newspapers…” [2]

If LAT bows to blatant and arrogant Armenian pressure, then they would lose what little respect they have left in readers’ minds. I truly believe that.


“…It is hard to imagine how Frantz could continue working AT A NEWSPAPER IN A COMMUNITY WHERE MORE THAN HALF A MILLION ARMENIANS RESIDE, given his unfavorable actions against his Armenian-American colleagues and his negative views on the Armenian Genocide…”

I presume this is not a threat either, right?

“… The Armenian community highly values the special relationship it has developed in recent months with the publisher and other executives at the Los Angeles Times. The opinion column written by Matt Welch, the Times’ assistant editorial page editor, published on Sunday, April 22, is another indication of THE NEWSPAPER’S SOLID POSITION ON THE FACTS OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE. The Frantz episode is an aberration and has to be dealt with as such. His continued presence at the highest echelons of this venerable newspaper would only serve to antagonize the Armenian community and all those who care about the upholding of equal rights for all employees regardless of their race, color, religion, sex and national origin…” [2]

Where is the verdict by a “competent tribunal” after “due process” where the accused are given a fair chance to cross-examine claimants’ evidence and witnesses and introduce their own, like described in the U.N. Convention of 1949, article 6?

If LAT cannot produce such a verdict, then they should cancel that “editorial policy on genocide” immediately.

That is if LAT values journalistic objectivity and ethics…


I apologize to my readers for this long analysis of the recent Armenian attacks on Douglas Frantz. I feel those attacks are unwarranted, unjustified, arrogant, and self-serving. I do not recommend that we take this issue any further than this, though. I will personally leave it right here at this point. I had my say and I hope you found it useful.

In the meantime, those who are responsible for the censorship at LAT, resulting from the “editorial policy on genocide”, should either produce a verdict by a competent court (such as Nuremberg) authorizing the use of the term genocide or start using the qualifier “alleged” before Armenian Genocide. Failing to do either will rob LAT of its credibility and journalistic objectivity.


[1] Kevin Roderick, “Armenian genocide dispute erupts at LAT”, April 24 2007, http://www.laobserved.com/archive/2007/04/armenian_genocide_dispute.php

[2] Harout Sassoonian, the publisher of the California Courier

[3] Webster’s II dictionary, Berkley Books, New York, 1984.


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