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[E] L.A. Weekly Publishes Second Apology, by H. Sassounian

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 PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 7:53 am    Post subject: [E] L.A. Weekly Publishes Second Apology, by H. Sassounian Reply with quote Back to top

The California Courier | April 8, 2004 | Harut Sassounian, Publisher

L.A. Weekly Publishes Second Apology

After a meeting with several representatives of Armenian organizations and receiving e-mails from scores of readers complaining that the first apology they had published was not satisfactory, the L.A. Weekly printed this week a letter from a reader as well as a second apology.

In its February 20-26 issue, the Associate Calendar Editor of the Weekly had inserted the words "No Armenians allowed" in the announcement for a multi-ethnic, inter-faith concert in Los Angeles. The first apology, published in the Feb. 27-March 4 issue, had stated that "the brief commentary was intended solely as a joke, we recognize it may have offended some readers. For that, we are truly sorry."

In its April 2-8 issue, the Weekly published a letter from Dr. Arbi Ohanian of Los Angeles who qualified the Associate Calendar Editor’s remarks as "racist" and demanded her dismissal. He also asked for the publication of a "thorough and appropriate apology to the Armenian community."

After this letter, in a second apology, the publishers stated that the employee in question, "who had a long history of good service at the paper, did not set out to offend Armenians or any other group of people. She is horrified that anyone would take the phrase ‘No Armenians allowed’ seriously." "But," the apology went on to say, "given the still-fresh memories of the Armenian Genocide and acts of discrimination, we understand the pain our words have caused and would like to apologize again to all who were hurt by what was written. We recognize the importance of the culturally vibrant and successful Armenian community, and look forward to more positive relations in the future."

It is now up to the vast army of Armenian-American lawyers and judges, and more particularly, the Armenian Bar Association, to pronounce a professional judgment as to whether this second apology is sufficient to end this controversy or would they recommend legal action against the L.A. Weekly due to the possible violation of the civil rights of the Armenian community?
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