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.
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.