Harut Sassounian’s latest “Boycott PBS Stations that Air ‘Balancing’ Panel on Genocide” editorial (California Courier, 9 Feb 2006) informs that PBS will be broadcasting a “panel discussion” on the Armenian genocide after showing Andrew Goldberg’s "The Armenian Genocide" documentary on 17 April, 2006.

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Photo: This is Justin McCarthy. You will not believe, but the photo is from a Turkish website: actually, from a Turkish governmental website. I do not want to comment on this photo. It is self-explanatory enough (photo credit: www.byegm.gov.tr)

The discussion has already been taped earlier today (6 Feb 2006), featuring genocide deniers Justin McCarthy (whose Turkish payroll includes one-month family vacation in Cyprus) and Omer Turan, a professor from a Turkish university. The “Armenian side” is presented by Turkish professor from the University of Minnesota Taner Akcam, and Colgate University professor Peter Balakian (who has Armenian origin).

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Photo: This is Omer Turan. Nothing special about him as a Turk, despite the fact that knows English pretty well (photo credit: eastweststudies.org)

Sassounian asks, “[s]ince PBS executives would never think of including neo-Nazis in a panel discussion following the airing of a Holocaust documentary, why would they do it in the case of an Armenian Genocide documentary?”

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Photo: This is Taner Akcam, one of the “traitors” among the Turks who does not fear to say, “my country committed genocide against the Armenians.” One day I will write about Akcam more, since I have seen him every single day during my genocide course in Canada. You will be surprised to learn that he is not a traitor at all… (photo credit: Nisan Sarican)

I understand what Mr. Sassounian means, but I would not mind seeing a Holocaust denier “convincing” that there were no gas chambers, and then a historian showing what an idiot that person is.

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Photo: This is Balakian. He is not as outgoing and modest in life as Akcam, but his writings are important in genocide studies. Akcam is one of the most charismatic people I have ever seen in my life. It is impossible not to love Akcam, well, unless you are a member of the Bozkurt fascist group… (photo credit: wwwlb.aub.edu.lb)

Coming to Akcam and Balakian, I personally know both of them (met Akcam in Canada and Balakian in Colorado) and both of them seem to be good enough to smash the deniers.

I actually would love to “debate” the Genocide with McCarthy! Perhaps it comes from my selfishness of laughing at idiots…

As I had stated in an earlier review, Goldberg’s documentary is already excessively fair and balanced. It includes remarks by several Turkish revisionists. There is no need to further balance it by adding more denialists in a panel after the show. I suggest that all those who disagree with the PBS decision to provide a platform to genocide revisionists take the following actions:

1)Send an e-mail to Jacoba Atlas, Senior Vice President of PBS programming, asking her to cancel the airing of the panel discussion. Her e-mail address is: [email protected];

2)Contact your local PBS station and urge the programming director not approve the airing of the panel discussion (each station, independently of PBS, decides whether or not to air this optional panel discussion);

3)Advise your station manager that if he goes ahead with the airing of the panel discussion, you would neither watch nor financially support the station. Furthermore, you would urge the station’s corporate and foundation sponsors to cease their support;

4)If no satisfactory action is taken by PBS, then contact your Congressional representative, asking that Congress cut back the funding to PBS because of its insensitivity to viewers’ concerns;

5)If the panel discussion is aired, whenever PBS broadcasts a Turkey-related documentary in the future, demand that a panel discussion be held after each show to balance the Turkish propaganda.

All those who care about upholding the truth should not allow PBS to question the veracity of the Armenian Genocide under pressure from the Turkish government and its hired guns.