ANCA Eastern Region Hosts Leadership Briefing Featuring Harut Sassounian

NEW YORK–Twenty Armenian community leaders, representing a dozen organizations, gathered here on May 9, as noted activist and commentator Harut Sassounian briefed them on the recent debacle involving the Los Angeles Times and its mishandling of the Armenian Genocide issue. The briefing was organized by the Armenian National Committee of America-Eastern US and was hosted by Mr. Robert Setrakian. Mr. Sassounian addressed the controversy created by The Times Managing Editor Douglas Frantz who blocked the publication of an article on the Armenian Genocide by columnist Mark Arax last month. Frantz alleged that Arax had a bias on this issue presumably due to his ethnic background. The Armenian-American reporter is currently in the process of filing a discrimination lawsuit against The Times. In recent years, Frantz was stationed in Istanbul representing first the New York Times and then the Los Angeles Times. Sassounian reported that he has already met with the publisher and editor of the newspaper demanding Frantz’s dismissal. Sassounian reminded the gathering that The Times is on record affirming the veracity of the Genocide, and that Frantz’s actions contradict the newspaper’s own position on this issue. At this stage, Sassounian stated, the community must accept nothing less than the firing of Frantz for his complicity in Turkey’s denialist campaign–something that Sassounian demonstrated by presenting abundant evidence. He then encouraged attendees to push their respective organizations to show more activism in pursuing this matter. One of the most prominent political commentators in Armenian affairs, Harut Sassounian is the long-time publisher of the California Courier, President of the United Armenian Fund, and Senior Vice-President of the Los Angeles-based Lincy Foundation. "We’re delighted to make use of Harut Sassounian’s presence in New York to highlight the importance of this issue," said Karine Birazian, ANC-ER Executive Director. "In the coming months, the ANC will continue to hold such briefings periodically, in order to better inform and mobilize our community leadership on issues they need to be aware of," Birazian said. For more information on the Los Angeles Times controversy and how to help resolve it, please contact the ANCA at (917) 428-1918 or through the ANCA website at www.anca.org.

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