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July 30th, 2012
03:50 PM ET

Joan Juliet Buck on Assad interview: "I met the devil and his wife"

In this week's Newsweek, Fmr. Vogue writer Joan Juliet Buck details her experience interviewing Syria's first lady, Asma al-Assad’s wife of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and admits being misled by what she calls the Syrian PR machine.

Joan Juliet Buck: Mrs. Assad Duped Me

I didn’t know I was going to meet a murderer.

There was no way of knowing that Assad, the meek ophthalmologist and computer-loving nerd, would kill more of his own people than his father had and torture tens of thousands more, many of them children.

In December 2010, there was no way of knowing that the Arab Spring was about to begin, and that it would take down the dictators of Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt.

There was no way of knowing, as I cheered the events in Tahrir Square, that I would be contaminated because I had written about the Assads. There was no way of knowing that this piece would cost me my livelihood and end the association I had had with Vogue since I was 23.

I met the devil and his wife, with full fashion-magazine access to their improbable fishbowl apartment where they lived out their daily lives on display to the eyes of thousands, like a Middle-Eastern version of The Truman Show. They showed off their fantasy lives for me.

Tune to Erin Burnett OutFront at 7p/11p ET for the full interview with former Vogue writer, Joan Juliet Buck.


Filed under: International • Syria
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Daisy100

    This piece, contrasted with Buck's first notorious sycophantic article on the Assads just confirms me in my belief that you can't believe anything in print. What a complete fool. Or did she just write the first article for the money? Two completely different accounts from the same experience of meeting the Assads. If she expects readers to be sympathetic to her now, she must be a halfwit. Overdue for retirement. She seems to think none of it is her fault, blames Vogue's editor for going ahead with it at all, and blames the PR firm for getting her into it to begin with. Talk about lack of personal responsibility. Let's hope it's her swansong.

    August 6, 2012 at 10:11 am | Reply
    • J

      Daisy100, "How can you even fall for the one-sided journalism found on the Erin Burnett self-promotion agenda herein; can't you see that you're being duped by the morose slanted journalistic techniques of Ms. Burnett and her cohorts?" Get with the program and stop falling for it!

      August 7, 2012 at 10:44 am | Reply
  2. Ted Striker

    Hilarious, so I'm supposed to feel bad for the OTHER PR machine?

    July 31, 2012 at 11:26 am | Reply
  3. Howard

    Oh, poor Ms. Buck.

    Long before December 2010, any reasonably well read person, (at least anyone who reads more serious tomes than fashion magazines) knew Bashir al-Assad was head of one of the most dictatorial and repressive regimes in the Middle East. Any reasonably well read individual also knows all dictatorial regimes practice torture and murder because it simply isn't normal for an entire population to enjoy being dictated to, especially when that population is sharply divided between two hostile religious sects.

    July 31, 2012 at 1:09 am | Reply

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