PICKET: Flashback- Vogue ran loving profile of Syrian first lady as Syrian gov't slaughtered its people

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Bloomberg News is reporting that President Barack Obama is considering nominating Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue, to be either his next ambassador to Britain or France. According to Bloomberg:

President Barack Obama is considering nominating Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue, to be either his next ambassador to the U.K. or France, as he looks to reward his biggest fundraisers with embassies that never seem out of fashion, according to two people familiar with the matter. Wintour, 63, may have some competition for the London posting, with Matthew Barzun, the finance chairman of Obama’s presidential campaign, also interested in the job, officially known as ambassador to the Court of St. James’s, said the people, who requested anonymity.

Both Wintour and Barzun were among Obama’s biggest bundlers in the campaign, with each raising more than $500,000 to help re-elect the president. Marc Lasry, the managing partner and founder of Avenue Capital Management, covets the Paris embassy, said the people.

Wintour and Hollywood actress Sarah Jessica Parker hosted an $80,000 plate fundraiser in New York City for Obama during the election this year at Parker’s penthouse in Manhattan. It should be noted that the NY Times reported on a February of 2011 Vogue feature about the regime’s relationship with Wintour’s magazine. I described the piece in June 2012 Water Cooler post:

  According to a New York Times article from Sunday, Vogue featured a February 2011 piece about the Assad regime’s relationship with the magazine. In fact, last spring, Vogue lovingly profiled Syrian first lady Asma al-Assad and titled the piece “A Rose in the Desert.” The magazine ran the article as the Syrian government slaughtered its people and described (H/T The Atlantic) the Assad household as “wildy democratic.”

Vogue Senior editor Chris Knutsen explained away the Assad article to The Atlantic in February of 2011 saying, “For our readers it’s a way of opening a window into this world a little bit.” However, according to the New York Times on Sunday, the Assad article has disappeared from its website (click here to read the Vogue piece on an alternative website). However, Ms. Wintour’s views on the Syrian regime changed suddenly as well. In a statement sent to the New York Times, Vogue wrote:

“Like many at that time, we were hopeful that the Assad regime would be open to a more progressive society. Subsequent to our interview, as the terrible events of the past year and a half unfolded in Syria, it became clear that its priorities and values were completely at odds with those of Vogue. The escalating atrocities in Syria are unconscionable and we deplore the actions of the Assad regime in the strongest possible terms.”

The author of the original Vogue Assad piece, Joan Juliet Buck, admitted, “she regretted the “Rose in the Desert” headline that Vogue put on the article,” but that “Mrs. Assad was ‘extremely thin and very well-dressed, and therefore qualified to be in Vogue.”  

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About the Author
Kerry Picket

Kerry Picket

Kerry Picket, a former Opinion Blogger/Editor of The Watercooler, was associate producer for the Media Research Center, a content producer for Robin Quivers of "The Howard Stern Show" on Sirius satellite radio and a production assistant and copy writer at MTV.

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