Supporters of the Karabakh occupation living in the United States wrote a letter of protest against New York Times journalist Carlotta Gall's reports about the current hostilities in the zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The journalist and the newspaper were accused of everything that is characteristic of the coverage of the Karabakh war by the media engaged by Yerevan and its sponsors: bias, one-sidedness, and ignorance of facts. The claims in this letter boiled down to the fact that the New York Times does not publish Armenia's fakes and does not use pro-Armenian language in its publications.
The letter was drawn up through the All-Armenian Benevolent Union (AGBU), known for raising money for the election campaigns of congressmen controlled by the Armenian diaspora, and ended with the phrase " Restore the integrity of the New York Times before your credibility and reputation are tarnished beyond repair. " In fact, the AGBU openly threatened the New York Times with pressure and "damage to its reputation" if the publication does not start publishing anti-Azerbaijani materials beneficial to the occupants of Karabakh.
Of course, independent American journalists took this as a threat to free speech in the United States in general, that is, an assault upon First Amendment freedoms. Thus, a prominent journalist from Washington, an expert on Caucasus and the Middle East security Joshua Kucera expressed hope on Twitter that AGBU's plan to bully New York Times will fail.
"I hope the @nytimes doesn’t get bullied by this. If the article in question was the only one they’d published, yes it would be problematic. But in the context of their wider coverage it was a good one. This feels like an attempt to silence the Azerbaijani perspective," Kucera stressed.
Earlier, the Armenian community has unleashed a barrage of insults and threats against the French TF1 TV channel and its correspondent Liseron Boudoul on social networks after the broadcast of the report on the battles in Nagorno-Karabakh. After massive threats, the channel removed the link to the report from the website.
Assistant to the Azerbaijani President, head of the Foreign Policy Department of the Presidential Administration Hikmat Hajiyev also strongly condemned attacks on New York Times by Armenian lobby groups of U.S.
"We strongly condemn attacks and threats of radical/chauvinistic Armenian lobby groups of U.S. against NY Times as they did in France against the TF1 crew. They attempt to stifle freedom of expression/free media. We may also not agree w/some parts of reportage but we respect their work," he wrote on his Twitter page.