GLENDALE–The ANCA-WR issued a statement Monday regarding the erroneous reporting by Fox 11 news that an Armenian was allegedly involved in the LAX shooting.
"The media has a very important responsibility to not lead the public astray and unfortunately–certain media outlets gave the wrong facts during the incident on July 4," stated Ardashes Kassakhian–Government Relations Director for the ANCA-WR. "The inaccurate information and the assumptions about Armenian names all point to a lack of knowledge and understanding of who and what Armenia’s are by the media. The ANC works very hard to represent the rights of all Armenian American citizens and fights against misrepresentation of Armenia’s in the media."
Below is the statement sent by the ANCA-WR to Fox News.
Mr. Jose Rios
Vice President and News Director
KTTV (Fox 11) News Headquarters
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles–CA 90025
Dear Mr. Rios:
Please be aware that during your station’s July 4–2002 news broadcast of the shootings that took place at the Los Angeles International Airport–your on-air anchors/reporters erroneously reported one of the suspects as having an Armenian last name.
This information was allegedly verified with the Los Angeles Police Department at the time but upon further inquiry by our organization on the day of the incident–police officials on the scene of the crime gave no confirmation to this allegation. As subsequent facts proved–there were absolutely no connections between the gunmen and members of the Armenian community. Your careless–erroneous–on-air racial and ethnic profiling of the suspects of the incident as Armenian was a gross error and misrepresentation of the facts of the incident. Your mistake has sent a shockwave of anger–disappointment–and fear throughout the Armenian-American community.
Regardless of who your sources were–your reporting of an Armenian being involved solely by the assumption that the name sounded Armenian was an example of poor reporting and lack of knowledge. Other ethnic groups share names that sound similar to Armenian surnames and may be mistaken for such. Your reporters however did not bother to differentiate and were quick to assume that an Armenian was involved.
Your poor judgment and inaccurate reports have left the Armenian community deeply disappointed and on behalf of the Armenian-American community we demand an apology. We hope that you will remedy this mistake and renew the faith of our community in your news program.
Steven J. Dadaian
Armenian National Committee of America