By Skeptik Sinikian
I hate the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). I don’t trust any newspaper that doesn’t have a "funny cartoons" section. I don’t trust any publication that doesn’t print photographs or sports statistics. I hate the WSJ and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
I hate people who read the WSJ. They’re the same people who cut in front of me on the 110 to the 5 interchange at the very last minute in their brand new BMWs or massive SUVs and put everyone’s lives at risk. They’ll also speed up to red lights and join "Wine of the Month" clubs. They will send their children to private school and think homeless people should just get jobs. I can’t stand these "nouveau riche" snobs.
I hate people who quote the WSJ. Most of the time–they are one-dimensional–money-grubbing ideologues–who insist war is good for the economy but would never enlist to fight themselves. I don’t hang out with these people. These people try to hang out with folks like you and me just to have an audience to say something like "Did you read the article in the WSJ yesterday about natural gas prices in Kazakhstan?" or "I hope this Avian flu pandemic doesn’t hurt McDonald’s stock." I despise WSJ statistics and quotes.
But this week–I found a new reason to hate the WSJ. My friend forwarded me an email with a link to the WSJ website. An October 27th article titled "Turk-Armenian Fight Over WWI History Goes to a US Court" by WSJ staff reporter Kara Scannell got my blood boiling even before I finished the first paragraph. Here’s the opening of the article:
"Nearly a century ago–perhaps a million or more Christian Armenia’s were slaughtered by Muslim Turks. It ran’s among history’s major instances of genocide.
Or is "genocide" the wrong word?
For generations–Turks and Armenia’s have argued the point. Armenia’s say it was genocide–pure and simple. Some Turks respond that the deaths were a tragic byproduct of World War I and that both Turks and Armenia’s died.
Now–a Turkish group wants to settle the issue–American-style: in court."
After that–it just got worse. Not only is the story infuriating but the lack of research by the report is infuriating. The use of the word "perhaps," no matter what the context or reference–casts doubt on the historical record of the Armenian genocide. Now it may refer to the figure of 1 million or more but it is poor journalism at best. The next part that argues that Turks and Armenia’s have argued this point for generations is absolutely ludicrous. Kara Scannell makes the inaccurate assumption that only Armenia’s claim that this was a genocide. This not only denigrates the research and findings of some of the world’s most renowned Holocaust and Genocide scholars such as Israel Charney and Yair Auron but also makes this historic tragedy seem as though it’s an ethnic feud between Turks and Armenia’s.
You see? This is what happens when you rely solely on internet research when writing an article. And by internet research–I mean surfing EBay or forwarding emails with pictures of kittens hugging puppies to co-workers with titles like "Happy Monday!" or whatever Kara Scannell was doing instead of delving deep into actual firsthand historical records. All she had to do was look into the American archives of that time which were recently compiled into a volume by researcher/academic Ara Sarafian. Had Kara Scannell done her homework–she would have discovered that the main opposition to the use of the term Genocide comes from Turkey and its paid cohorts.
I really hate the Wall Street Journal. Just writing this article is raising my blood pressure faster than 16 year old "hye" princess in her brand new birthday BMW on Glenoaks Blvd. I’m furious. I’m actually livid just reading about the nerve of Massachusetts’s state officials who are not fighting tooth and nail to discredit these Turkish clowns who have brought this issue up in court. Mark my words–if this passes–I’m going to file for a case to allow the "alternative" side of the every genocide to be taught in schools along side the historical facts. In fact–teachers should make students read two different but parallel history books from now on. One can be history as it’s been documented and the other can be full of all the crazy myths and argumen’s that are out there floating around. It can start off with the chapter on how dinosaurs died because they were too big to fit on Noah’s Ark and end with the chapter on Saddam Hussein’s positive contributions to Kurdish culture and society.
Teaching the "other" side of the Armenian genocide is like a math teacher explaining the following equation in the following manner to his/her students: Teacher: Ok kids–turn to page 12 of today’s lesson. Now who can tell me what 2 + 2 equals? Student: (raising hand and called upon by teacher) Is it 4?? Teacher: Yes–some say that it is four. But that’s only the mathematicians. There are a number of Arthur Andersen consultants who think that 2 + 2 equals 3 while some others think that it should equal 5. Student: (confused) But mommy says it’s 4! Teacher: Your mommy has a first amendment right to say it’s four just like Timmy over there (pointing to kid with bottle of Elmer’s glue stuck up his nose) has a right to say that it is six.
I know where this is all coming from. When an animal is backed against a corner and has no way out–they will lash out in any way just to survive. That’s exactly what’s happening to the Turkish denial beast. The Turkish community’s imaginary version of history is beginning to show some major cracks and has begun crumbling.
The article depicts this issue as debatable and doesn’t really begin to talk about the censorship in Turkey that’s put so many scholars–writers and intellectuals in jail. Did you ever think of that Kara? Did ya? Huh?
How many people in America would be willing to say that slavery was a horrible mistake if every time you mentioned that the South had slaves–FBI agents showed up at their door–took them to some prison hellhole and spent the next few months helping them understand the difference between the words "molestation" and "torture."
This whole situation is Fubar. And if you don’t know what that means–you can look it up on internet. I don’t know what else I can say about this. It’s THAT ridiculous. As for me? I’m going to write a letter setting Kara straight (firstname.lastname@example.org if anyone else is interested in doing the same) and copy her bosses on the letter (email@example.com) because that’s the only way people learn in this society nowadays–when you get their supervisors involved. Maybe after a few well worded–articulate letters–we can ensure that Kara will do a better job on her follow up article. But chances are–they won’t change their editorial policy like the New York Times had the "cojones" to do. And that–my friends–is why I hate the Wall Street Journal.
Skeptik Sinikian is a internationally acclaimed paper mache sculptor who is currently working on a 12 foot statue of a toilet bowl made entirely of recycled copies of the Wall Street Journal. You can ask him about his other hobbies at SkeptikSinikian@aol.com or visit his blog at www.Sinikian.blogspot.com.