Scandal Grows at Los Angeles Times Over Editors Actions On Armenian Genocide

LOS ANGELES–Asbarez has learned that Los Angeles Times Managing Editor Douglas Frantz is reportedly the subject of an internal investigation regarding his role in blocking an article last week on the Armenian Genocide. According to sources, the author of that article, veteran award-winning journalist Mark Arax, received an email from Frantz telling him he was putting a hold on Arax’s story because he felt Arax had a conflict of interest that precludes you from writing about the Armenian genocide, and particularly about an ongoing congressional debate about it. Your personal stance on the issue, in my view, prohibits you from writing about the issue objectively. As a result of this determination, Frantz then ordered Rich Simon, the Times’ congressional reporter to completely rewrite the story which appeared in the April 21 issue. The Armenian National Committee of America, the nations largest Armenian American grassroots public affairs organization, has been in discussions with Times officials and is tracking the situation closely. The ANCA is gravely concerned that a senior-level editor at the Los Angeles Times is seriously compromising journalistic and ethical standards, and possibly even breaking the law, by telling an Armenian American writer that he cannot report on the Armenian Genocide. The assertion, which documen’s seem to corroborate, is deeply troubling. commented ANCA Western Region Board member Zanku Armenian. "It appears that the Times may have its own ‘Don Imus’ situation, which is very unfortunate and damaging to the reputation of our citys newspaper of record." Late in the day on Thursday, April 26, James O’Shea, editor of the Los Angeles Times and Douglas Frantz’s boss, sent an email to Times staff where he twice defended Douglas Frantz’s questionable actions and the subsequent article that featured genocide denialists. OShea wrote, "And while I am not going to make public the results of any internal investigation, I can say that no one has concluded anyone was biased in their personnel decisions."…"Let me make one thing clear. I would never tolerate anyone on the staff making decisions on a story out of a bias or because of the ethnicity of the writer. In this case, that did not happen." In an apparent contradiction, OShea notes that the Frantz investigation has not run its full course, yet he seemingly vindicates Frantz of culpability. For a full-text of the OShea staff email see below.

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