As fighting escalates in Syria and news of more atrocities–like using children as human shields–in the region accumulates, Anna Wintour is finally speaking out about that March 2011 Vogue feature on Syrian’s first lady, Asma al-Assad. Al-Assad is the wife of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, and was the subject of a fawning profile penned by Joan Juliet Buck, titled “A Rose in the Desert.”
This weekend the New York Times took a look at how the al-Assads essentially hoodwinked the western media–via paid PR companies–to get favorable coverage. The Vogue piece, which the powers-that-be subsequently removed from Vogue.com in the wake of criticism, was one of the more cringe-inducing examples.
Soon after the article was published, Buck, the author (and the former EIC of French Vogue before Carine Roitfeld), started making the rounds to “speak out against the Assad regime.” But how on earth did al-Assad get that whopping 3,200 word feature in the first place?