COVER UP: Media Fails to Hold Obama Accountable for Breaking His Promise About Armenian Genocide


Today, April 24, 2015, marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian genocide which saw the brutal murders of at least 1.5 million of Turkey’s minority Christian Armenian population, my ancestors.

It would seem impossible to deny the executions, rapes, death marches through the desert, and yet Turkey still astoundingly claims it never happened. They deny it so vociferously that it is a crime to talk about it within the country and mentions of the word “genocide” can spur an international incident (See: Turkey Recalls Ambassador Over Pope’s Armenia Genocide Words.)

As a candidate, Obama promised, “As president, I will recognize the Armenian genocide.” It’s been crickets since and, unsurprisingly, the media isn’t calling him on it, according to Newsbusters:

This will be the seventh anniversary that Obama breaks that promise to be honest about what one U.S. ambassador once called a “campaign of race extermination.” Yet ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news shows have mentioned that failed promise only once during the Obama presidency. That occurred on April 12, 2015. Even that took the combined efforts of Pope Francis, third-generation Armenian-American celebrity Kim Kardashian and her husband, singer Kanye West – all bringing attention to the genocide.

(How sad that the Kardashians are making more headway in branding it a genocide than the president of the United States!)

Presidents break promises, but to break a promise to acknowledge genocide is extreme. ABC, CBS and NBC produced 44 stories and briefs involving Armenia and Armenians during the Obama presidency. Only once did they mention his failed promise.

All three networks missed their chance when Obama went to Turkey in 2009. Obama laid a wreath at the grave of the founder of modern Turkey – Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The April 6, 2009, NBC Nightly News Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd helped the administration dodge the issue. Todd called Obama’s visit to Turkey one of “the shrewder early moves” of the presidency.

…Journalists on ABC, CBS and NBC had no problem finding time to talk about the important things – such as first dog Bo. Bo was everywhere on the networks – at least 112 times. That’s 28 more times than any mention of a genocide that killed 1.5 million people.

Obama isn’t the first president to fail to call what happened to the Armenians “genocide” citing strategic relations with Turkey, but that is no excuse to renege on his promise and do the right thing. The geopolitical landscape has changed. It is time to hold our leaders accountable. 100 years later, it is time for America and the world to do the right thing and recognize the Armenian Genocide.

Alexa is a freelance writer and communications consultant, with experience working on the Hill, at the RNC, and for... More about Alexa

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