Last week, the Wall Street Journal courted controversy when it ran a full-page ad in its paper that critics said denied the Armenian genocide. Among those who spoke out is business mogul Kim Kardashian, who on Wednesday launched a fiery takedown of the newspaper.
"For the Wall Street Journal to publish something like this is reckless, upsetting and dangerous," Kardashian wrote in an essay posted on her website. "It's one thing when a shitty tabloid profits from a made-up scandal, but for a trusted publication like WSJ to profit from genocide — it's shameful and unacceptable. Why is it that every time we take one step forward, we take two steps back?"
Kardashian, whose father, lawyer Rob Kardashian, was a third-generation Armenian American, has been a vocal critic of Armenian genocide denial.
Widely considered by historians as the first genocide of the 20th century, Armenians became the target of weakening Ottoman Empire leadership who feared they would side with archenemy Russia. Close to 1.5 million Armenians were killed, either massacred, subjected to forced labor or sent on death marches to the Syrian desert.
The denial of the Armenian genocide has been a long-standing point of contention between the Turkish government and most other countries. Although it acknowledges the atrocities committed, Turkey asserts that Armenians were simply one among the many casualties of war (a sentiment echoed in the Wall Street Journal ad), and denies that there was a plan to systematically annihilate the Armenian population.
"My family and I are no strangers to BS in the press. We've learned to brush it off. Lies make good headlines, good headlines make great covers, great covers sell magazines," Kardashian wrote in her post, adding that WSJ's ad was something she could not simply dismiss.
"Kim Kardashian's condemnation of the Wall Street Journal — calling worldwide attention to the newspaper's decision to profit from Armenian genocide denial — was right on the mark," Armenian National Committee of America Communications Director Elizabeth Chouldjian told A Plus in an email. "The danger, as Ms. Kardashian so clearly points out, lies in creating an air of impunity for Turkey."
The ad directs readers to the website FactCheckArmenia.com, a group that denies the Armenian genocide. After receiving criticism on social media for running the ad, the Journal told Gawker:
We accept a wide range of advertisements, including those with provocative viewpoints. While we review ad copy for issues of taste, the varied and divergent views expressed belong to the advertisers.
But Kardashian questioned the paper's response. "Advocating the denial of a genocide by the country responsible for it — that's not publishing a 'provocative viewpoint,' that's spreading lies. It's totally morally irresponsible and, most of all, it's dangerous. If this had been an ad denying the Holocaust, or pushing some 9/11 conspiracy theory, would it have made it to print?" she wrote.
Cover image via DFree / Shutterstock.com