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Armenia: CNN Genocide Coverage Controversy

Too short for Armenians and too long for the Turkish government, a two-hour CNN documentary by Christiane Amanpour on genocide includes a 45-second mention of the WWI extermination of Ottoman Empire's indigenous Armenian population. Premiered on December 4, 2008, Scream Bloody Murder has made many Armenian bloggers angry, leading them to recall Hitler's rhetoric for impunity, “Who, after all, remembers the Armenians?”

Armenia-based blogger, photographer and designer Arsineh had concerns even before watching the documentary. Writing on Ars Eye View, she says:

[…]

I'm preparing to watch the program for myself, but given this much prior information, I have to ask. If you are going to cover the epidemic of genocide, starting with the campaign to criminalize genocide, continue to show the struggle so many have endured to (as you titled your program) “SCREAM BLOODY MURDER” while the world turned a deaf ear only to allow genocide to continue around the world, shouldn't you be talking about the biggest cover up of genocide, the very one which inspired Lemkin to coin the word, the very one which also inspired Adolf Hitler to follow through with the Holocaust? Afterall, it's this denial that scares CNN from ever using the word “Genocide” in their reporting on related matters.

[…]

She also posts a video question to CNN.

Writing in detail, West of Igdir says a previous CNN press release suggested the coverage of the Armenian Genocide was going to be more intense.

[…]

The release specifically mentioned Armenia as one of the cases of genocide it would be examining. This naturally created some excitement that finally a major news organization would be dedicating a program partly to the so often overlooked Armenian Genocide of 1915 and inform a nationwide audience about it.

[…]

I had been feeling hopeful about the documentary and might have given it more of a pass on this omition until I saw this interactive map on the section of Scream Bloody Murder section of CNN's website about the world's killing fields. It appears that despite the fact when it had first been announced Armenia was prominently mentioned as one of the examples of genocide that would be covered, it was overlooked as being pinpointed on the interactive map as an example of genocide.

[..]

Clearly the documentary did not go unnoticed in Turkey, despite the fact it says almost nothing about the Armenian Genocide, as the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet yesterday declared “Genocide feature worrisome.”

[…]

Sevana at Life in the Armenian Diaspora is also unhappy.

When will this second class genocide victim status end? I guess CNN is afraid that CNN-Turk will be cut off the air if they include the Armenians… how very, very sad.

Another diasporan voice, Seta’s Armenian Blog posts an action alert by the Armenian National Committee of America to protest CNN’s almost exclusion of the Armenian Genocide.

Dozens of users of CNN's iReport have also reacted to the documentary by posting comments on anchor Christiane Amanpour’s page, most of them condemning a short mention of the Armenian Genocide.

One user writes:

[…] It[‘]s unfortunate that today, Genocide, Ethnic Cleansing, or whatever new term one uses for this act, still happens today and yet nothing is really done to stop it. Hitler once said (referring to the Armenian Genocide) “Who remembers the Armenians”… and yet, I'm still waiting for someone to answer that question. I thought it might be answered in “Scream Bloody Murder”, but it was not, and again the question remains unanswered….

That's Sprezzatura is angry not only about the brief mention of Armenians but also because there was no mention of Henry Morgenthau, the U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire at the time.

[…]

Amanpour, by the power of her camera and microphone, breathed life to the screaming voices of the forgotten activists, and deservedly amplified the “bloody murder” calls of the moral few, such as: Eli Wiesel, Father Francois Ponchaud, Peter Galbraith, Richard Holbrook, Romeo Dallaire and other unsung heroes, but Amanpour chose dead silence instead to the screams of Henry Morgenthau, the US Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire at the time of the Armenian Genocide — Morgenthau too, ‘screamed bloody murder.’ Give that honorable man some credit and the 1.5 million Armenian victims some respect.

[…]

In addition, the blog calls the documentary a “Bloody Shame Whisper.”

Shameful in the eyes of many Armenians, even the short mention of the WWI genocide, nonetheless, has angered nationalist Turks. The blog of the Turkish Coalition of America, for instance, posts YouTube videos by Bruce Fein, a conservative Harvard lawyer with strong links to Turkey, challenging CNN’s inclusion of the Armenian Genocide in the documentary.

Furthermore, the blog of The New York Turkish Times posts an action alert, apparently a letter that a Turkish organization sent to CNN before the broadcast, asking supporters to sign the letter which says it “condemn[s] CNN for its decision to broadcast a two-hour special report titled ‘Screamed [sic] Bloody Murder’ that will include a discussion about ‘So-Called Armenian Genocide’ on December 4, 2008.”

[…]

Genocide is a legal term. The only legally recognized genocides are the Holocaust and the Rwandan Genocide. How can CNN Intl Correspondent Christiane Amanpour criminalize denial of a so called genocide that does not even legally and historically exist? As you probably might know according to article 2 of the UN Convention on Genocide of 1948 “there has to be an intension to exterminate a race, ethnic group..”

While there is a clear international law for the term genocide, why don't Armenians take the so-called case to an international court.

[…]

I can promise you that broadcasting this “so-called” documentary will result in a substantial loss of support from viewers of CNN. As the President of FTAA [Federation of Turkish American Associations], I urge you not to approve the airing of the “Screamed [sic] Bloody Murder” that plans to air on December 4th.

7 comments

  • Emil

    Amanpour, of all people, you should know the history of Armenians. I’m sure you have been raised side by side with them. It’s a disgrace to your reputation that you did this Genocide special. You lost the respect of an entire diaspora. You bring humiliation to your culture and to your country and to your network.

  • Just sayin'

    Maybe the reason why CNN and the execrable Amanpour won’t talk about the Armenian Genocide is because Morgenthau, one of the good guys in this modern horror-story, has two strikes against him: 1.) He was American, and 2.) he was Jewish.

    It’s policy for CNN and the knee-jerk reaction of Amanpour never to show wither the US or Jews in a good light, ever….

  • Atilla

    45 second mention about the event which did not take place is too much. Talking about the big “Armenian Lie” in an American TV channel is also a contribution to the lie.

    \The so called “Armenian Genocide” Big Armenian Lie invented by Armenians to mobilize the Armenians in the world, to prevent their assimiliation in similar societied of Europe, and to try to get original Turkish land and resources at any expense. Quite a clever lie I must admit.

    The biggest crime agianst humanity is the genocide armenians have carried out against Turks, Azeri Turks and Kurds. MOre than half a million defenseless Turkish and Kurdish women and children were killed by fasicst armenian militia funded and emilitarity quipped by then Britain, France and Russia. This happened in times, when almost all Turksih men were in the war. So it was easy to kill Turkish women and children. But it was easy untill Turksih men (or what left from wars) came back from the war? When they saw what happened, they just did not have any option to ______ Armenian asses and they return them back to Armenians. Don’t cry foul. You got what you deserved. You will pay for the massacares and internal displacement and occupation of the Nagorno-Karabakh too.

    • just_guy

      my grandgranddad died during genocide. It is disrespect saying that genocide was a lie and created for some purposes. You know nothing, because u live very far, but i live in russia. Why? Because my relatives refugies and had to leave their native land! I’m not one of those crazy guys who want their land back, i just want people to respect genocide, not because it deserves it, but for it not to happen again! Genocide is as real and tragic as 2 world war, but u americans are too far from everything to see the real problems and pain of the world

  • Edgar

    45 second mention about the event which did not take place is too much. Talking about the big “Armenian Lie” in an American TV channel is also a contribution to the lie.

    \The so called “Armenian Genocide” Big Armenian Lie invented by Armenians to mobilize the Armenians in the world, to prevent their assimiliation in similar societied of Europe, and to try to get original Turkish land and resources at any expense. Quite a clever lie I must admit.

    The biggest crime agianst humanity is the genocide armenians have carried out against Turks, Azeri Turks and Kurds. MOre than half a million defenseless Turkish and Kurdish women and children were killed by fasicst armenian militia funded and emilitarity quipped by then Britain, France and Russia. This happened in times, when almost all Turksih men were in the war. So it was easy to kill Turkish women and children. But it was easy untill Turksih men (or what left from wars) came back from the war? When they saw what happened, they just did not have any option to ______ Armenian asses and they return them back to Armenians. Don’t cry foul. You got what you deserved. You will pay for the massacares and internal displacement and occupation of the Nagorno-Karabakh too.

    Hey Atilla,

    What would you know about the Armenian Genocide if your government covered up their mess. You most likely grew up knowing nothing about the Armenian genocide but now you sit in front of your computer to write what your government has said in the past about the 1915 events. In 1915 nobody gave a shit about what was happening to a small group of people called Armenians which nobody heard of. Just look at what happened in Rwanda, people knew what was going on but they didn’t take the necessary steps to prevent it. The Turkish government also got lucky because it happened in 1915, where the world wasn’t so developed. There are many documented facts about the genocide, also from people not Armenian that witnessed the events. There is no reason for a nation to lie and say there was a genocide, where in fact there was not.

    And Atilla there are way more better ways to mobilize Armenians in the world, dumbass

  • Grish Begian

    We do not have penal code “301” in North America. We live in a free and civilized society.
    I wonder why Turkish citizens run away from a “civilized country” like Turkey, and why when they come to North America suddenly they become professional deniers of the Genocide of the Armenians.
    Sincerely,
    Grish Begian

    Toronto, Canada

  • Franklyimaperson

    i don’t get this… the Armenians are pissy because they glazed over that genocide… what about the crusades? how about the trail of tears and the treatment of them over the years, what about the treatment of the japanise in WWII in the internment camps?

    i will awnser, they can’t cover every single genocide ever, it’d turn into a 5 part series of 6 hour videos

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