Doug Frantz, the notorious Genocide denier and former Los Angeles Times managing editor who lost his job when he blocked the publication of an article about the Armenian Genocide penned by journalist Mark Arax has been appointed the new spokesperson of the US State Department, a White House memo reported.
Frantz’s stint as Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the State Department will not be his first with Secretary of State John Kerry. He worked as an investigation for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when Kerry was chairman.
The Armenian-American community came to know Frantz when in April 2007, as LA Times managing editor, he killed the publication of a front-page story penned by Armenian-American journalist Mark Arax about the Armenian Genocide resolution pending in Congress at the time. In a memo to Arax, Frantz said the author’s ethnicity posed a conflict of interest.
This sparked a controversy and prompted the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region and other community leaders to launch a grassroots campaign against Frantz and the LA Times demanding an explanation and his resignation from his top post at the newspaper, Asbarez reports.
After an overwhelming response from the Armenian community and numerous meetings by Armenian leaders with LA Times top brass at the time, Frantz resigned in June 2007 and went to Istanbul.
Frantz has had long-standing ties to Turkey. He was stationed in Istanbul for several years, first as bureau chief for The New York Times and then as investigative reporter for the Los Angeles Times. He had developed close contacts with various Turkish officials, including the Turkish Consul General in Los Angeles who boasted in a taped interview with Arax at the time about his special relationship with Frantz who in May 2007 went to Istanbul to moderate a panel that included a notorious genocide denier.