Friday, June 29, 2007

Genocide Controversy Leads L.A. Times Managing Editor To Resign

Armenian National Committee of America
Western Region
104 N. Belmont, Suite 208, Glendale, CA 91206 * Tel. (818) 500-1918
Fax. (818) 246-7353 *


For Immediate Release ~ 2007-06-29
Contact: Haig Hovsepian ~ Tel: (818) 500-1918

Genocide Controversy Leads L.A. Times Managing Editor To Resign

Los Angeles, CA – After escalating criticism from the Armenian American community for his role in obstructing an article on the Armenian Genocide this April and his discriminatory behavior against Armenian American reporters, Los Angeles Times Managing Editor Douglas Frantz has resigned effective July 6th and will be returning to Istanbul, reported the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region (ANCA-WR).

This past April Frantz “killed” a story on the Armenian Genocide that was written by Armenian American Los Angeles Times reporter Mark Arax. Frantz had erroneously accused Arax (who recently left the paper) of having a “conflict of interest” regarding reporting on the Armenian Genocide and had also circumvented the standard editorial process for reviewing articles. A subsequent internal investigation by the Times deemed Frantz’s accusations to be completely baseless.

This past April, the ANCA led a grassroots campaign to raise awareness regarding Frantz’s actions. Over 5,000 activists responded to an ANCA action alert and sent emails and letters calling for Frantz’s resignation. In addition, the ANCA-WR, California Courier Publisher Harut Sassounian and other community representatives met with the publisher and senior Los Angeles Times management on multiple occasions during the last several months to convey the community’s outrage regarding Frantz’s discriminatory actions.

“Doug Frantz’s resignation from the Los Angeles Times is an appropriate answer to his unprofessional behavior and anti-Armenian posture in the newsroom,” remarked ANCA-WR Board member Zanku Armenian. “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.” he added.

Frantz’s activities and pro-Turkish positions have been monitored over the course of his many assignments at different newspapers and most recently in May when he moderated a panel in Istanbul that featured a well-known genocide denier. The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region (ANCA-WR) worked with a coalition of individuals to bring to light the situation that had developed at the Los Angeles Times after Frantz more overtly revealed his anti-Armenian position with his actions against Mark Arax. Sassounian had highlighted the Frantz controversy in several columns that appeared in the California Courier and a host of other news websites. Sassounian was also instrumental in bringing to light Frantz’s involvement in the May conference held in Istanbul.

The Armenian National Committee of America is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots political organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

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