Press Release: TAAL Takes on Turkey’s, Azerbaijan’s Anti-Armenian Campaigns of Hate, Violence and Disinformation
By Vic Gerami
For Immediate Release
Friday, February 19, 2021
Media Contact: Vic Gerami
TAAL Takes on Turkey’s, Azerbaijan’s Anti-Armenian Campaigns of
Hate, Violence and Disinformation
Crowdfunding Effort Supports Launch of Truth And Accountability League (TAAL) whose Mission is to Combat Azerbaijan’s and Turkey’s Organized Campaigns of Defamation, Disinformation, Armenophobia, and Propaganda in the Media, Public Policy, Academia, and Among Global and Regional Intelligentsia Communities
LOS ANGELES—Five months after activating an informal task force addressing Azerbaijan’s and Turkey’s sudden, violent, and unprovoked genocidal assault and ethnic-cleansing attack against Armenians in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), Armenian-American journalist, radio host, and activist, Vic Gerami has set out to amplify the impact of his own and his news-media and entertainment-industry colleagues’ efforts to shine a brighter light on aggressor nations’ war of propaganda, Armenophobia, and disinformation by launching the Truth And Accountability League (TAAL).
Supporters of human rights, groups and individuals concerned with ending the years-long campaign by dictators, would-be dictators and demagogues to replace truth, reason and factual knowledge with regimes of lies and “alternative facts” can support TAAL’s defense of reason and truth, while stopping the genocide in Nagorno-Karabakh by participating in a new crowdfunding campaign on Facebook.
Azerbaijan and Turkey’s genocidal attack and systematic ethnic cleansing assault against Armenians of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) has overwhelmed the Artsakh and Armenian governments—as well as Armenian-American advocacy organizations operating in the U.S. and abroad.
The persuasiveness of Azerbaijan’s and Turkey’s high-priced lobbying and public relations firms, which are now working nonstop in the US and in European capitals to protect both government’s public images despite their aggressive and harmful actions, make TAAL’s work a moral urgency.
While Azerbaijan and Turkish interests are being advanced daily in Washington D.C. by powerful lobbyists, both nations carefully crafted public images are only made possible by a deadly blind spot in the global community’s collective consciousness and a void in too many individuals’ consciences. That’s exactly where TAAL is aiming to establish a beachhead with its work to build awareness and foster concern for the plights of Armenian children, women and men suffering the genocidal impulses of a deadly alliance.
“The Armenian community cannot afford to assume that members of the media will, on their own, examine all the facts and evidence and report without bias, while Azerbaijan’s oil money directly or indirectly influences the media narrative,” TAAL founder, Vic Gerami said.
TAAL aims to serve as a watchdog organization conducting human rights-violations monitoring and reporting. With eyes open wide and specifically focusing on how nation-states, dictators and other antidemocratic forces manipulate international media, diplomats, and members of the intelligentsia, be they individual or institutional, TAAL is elevating its powers of observation and aspiration to greater governmental accountability.
“In the weeks leading up to the September 27 attach on Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), Azerbaijan had ramped up its deceptive public relations campaigns—employing no fewer than six of K-Street’s heaviest-hitting lobbying firms, including the Livingston Group, Stellar Jay Communications, BGR, The Podesta Group, and DLA Piper,” Gerami continued.
Gerami further notes that last year the southwest Asian country spent $1.3 million on lobbying and that the previously mentioned Washington D.C. firms have worked aggressively to distort facts and to convince media outlets to report false narratives and distortions that favor the dictatorial Azerbaijani government.
“TAAL combats this war of disinformation,” Gerami said. “We need those who believe in peace, democracy and human rights to step up to the plate and help us be effective in our work.”
The mission of TAAL is to stop the defamation of the Armenian people; achieve worldwide recognition of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-16; advocate for the free exercise by the Armenians of Artsakh their right to self-determination; attain universal recognition of the Independent Republic of Artsakh—and to secure justice and fair treatment for all people.
Referring to Gerami’s vision for TAAL, Garo B. Ghazarian Esq., former chairman and current member of the Board of Governors of the Armenian Bar Association, who also serves as co-chair of the group’s Armenian Rights Watch Committee said, ““It’s comprehensive and very good…,” You’re spot on with your vision,”
TAAL will not only be monitoring, “calling out,” and otherwise addressing Armenophobia, extremism, and bigotry in the US and around the globe whenever such transgressions arise in the news and entertainment media, social media, public policy environments, governing bodies, and academia, it will also stay abreast of, and expose instances of intelligentsia manipulation by bad actors seeking to oppress vulnerable populations.
Now more than ever, Artsakh and Armenia need people of good faith to stand up for and with them as they face existential threats from bully nation-states like Azerbaijan and Turkey. TAAL helps members of the media, human rights advocates, and non-governmental organizations as well as other stakeholders, to better understand complex issues surrounding the genocide now underway in Artsakh. TAAL also advocates for a secure and stable democratic Artsakh and Armenia.
Interested parties can learn about Artsakh and Armenia and its challenges through a host of now-developing TAAL resources, including a website, blogs, and other resources focused on history, geopolitics, and current events.
“In Vic I trust,” said State of California Commissioner Sam Kbushyan, a prominent Armenian-American and leader in the community, noting his confidence that the nascent TAAL movement is in good hands.
While still in its early-launch phase, TAAL has already accomplished a great deal. TAAL’s Vic Gerami co-produced the celebrity Public Service Announcement (PSA) awareness campaign, ‘I Stand with Artsakh & Armenia.’ Its PSA features Kim Kardashian, Serj Tankian, Congressman Adam Schiff, Ed Begley Jr., Sally Kirkland, Lawrence Zarian, Andrea Martin, and several other major stars.
Gerami granted several TV interviews to discuss the campaign including The Immigrant Magazine’s TV program, Bionic Buzz, BEONDTV, Buy Armenian, and Brave New Hollywood to discuss the dire situation in Artsakh. Urgently compelled to shed greater light on the genocide, Gerami has likewise published multiple articles about the assault on Artsakh in The Blunt Post, Desert Daily Guide, and GoWeHo.
At the same time, Gerami continues advancing TAAL’s mission by interviewing on his radio show and elsewhere leading members of Congress, other high-profile elected officials, and dignitaries from all over about the situation in Artsakh, thus putting their support on record. You can listen to all Gerami’s interviews here. Recent guests include Senator Bob Menendez, Congressman Adam Schiff (10.19.20), Congressman Adam Schiff (3.30.20), Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Congressman Brad Sherman, Congresswoman Katie Porter, Congressman Tony Cardenas, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and Congresswoman Judy Chu, Congressman Mark Takano, Congressman Jim Costa, Congressman Gil Cisneros, Congresswoman Norma Torres, Congresswoman Grace Napolitano, Congressman Raul Ruiz + Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, Congressman Alan Lowenthal,
The Twitter handle @ArtsakhArmy is a part of the social media strategy to combat Azerbaijani and Turkish trolls and bots.
Gerami asked Lindsay Carlson, president of the Heart of LA Democratic Club to include the Los Angeles County Democratic Party’s resolution condemning Azerbaijan in its membership newsletter. Similarly, he asked Jon Katz, president of the Santa Monica Democratic Club to post a statement on behalf of the organization.
TAAL’s founder, Vic Gerami also wrote an open letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein to address her ignoring of California’s 700,000 Armenian-Americans. The letter demanded an explanation for and an end to her deafening silence, and her apathetic response to Gerami’s previous letter to the senator asking for help on behalf of Artsakh and Armenia. TAAL, Vic Gerami and the Armenian-American community are still waiting for Sen. Feinstein to say something meaningful about the ongoing genocide in Artsakh
Gerami called out Cher, a fellow prominent Armenian-American, during an interview that he granted to Brave New Hollywood, for being mute about the situation since September 27 and for going to Pakistan during the war, the only country that does not recognize the Independent Republic of Armenia. Pakistan is also one of the countries that supplied jihadist mercenaries to Turkey and Azerbaijan for the purpose of killing Armenians. Following the airing of Gerami’s interview, Cher finally recorded a PSA of her own.
Gerami requested that his longtime friend, attorney, and West Hollywood Councilmember Sepi Shyne sponsor a resolution for the City of West Hollywood to recognize the Independent Republic of Artsakh. Gerami’s relationship with all the members of the West Hollywood City Council, Mayor Lindsey Horvath helped him convince her to co-sponsor the resolution, which passed on its merits unanimously on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.
TAAL has several active initiatives aimed at changing the current media narrative to reflect the truth and favor the innocent people of Artsakh now under attack by Azerbaijani and Turkish forces and to support Armenia. But these initiatives must advance quickly because lies become “truth” over periods of time that are far too short.
Azerbaijan is rapidly producing fake maps, khachkars (Cross-Stones), and fantastical, fictitious narratives to gaslight and deceive the world. TAAL works to unleash truth where lies keep it shackled; unveil facts where propaganda keeps them obscured; and enforce accountability where murderers reign free and inculpable.
The goal of TAAL’s crowdfunding campaign is to raise funds to cover initial expenses and to formalize the organization’s structure; create a website; and secure various other tools necessary to carry out its ambitious, vital and achievable objectives. Donate now, here.
Vic Gerami is available for interviews. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
More About Vic Gerami
A noted journalist, a columnist, Vic Gerami is also a radio show host and media contributor who is also publisher and editor of The Blunt Post.
Gerami is the host and producer of his prime-time radio show, THE BLUNT POST with VIC on Independent Radio KPFK 90.7 FM (Pacifica Network). The program covers national breaking and headline news, politics, and current events, and Gerami offers analysis and commentary. He also interviews a high-profile member of Congress on every show. A few of his recent guests include Congressman Adam Schiff, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Congressman Tony Cardenas, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and Congresswoman Judy Chu, Congressman Jim Costa, Congresswoman Norma Torres, Congresswoman Grace Napolitano, Congressman Raul Ruiz + Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, as well as Marianne Williamson. The program broadcasts LIVE on Mondays, 6:00 a.m. (PT) on KPFK 90.7 FM and Livestream at KPFK.org. You can listen to all the interviews here.
Today reaching national international audiences, Gerami first built a foundation of knowledge and skills by learning the media industry during his years at Frontiers Magazine, followed by positions at LA Weekly and Voice Media Group. For the second time, Gerami was selected as a finalist in the Los Angeles Press Club’s National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards “Columnist of the Year” category in 2019, having first made the final round of consideration in 2017. Vic was a finalist in record seven (7) categories for the 62nd Annual Southern California Journalism Awards in 2020. His celebrity Q&A column, ‘10 Questions with Vic‘ is internationally syndicated.
In July 2020, the Los Angeles Press Club announced that Gerami is a Finalist in record seven (7) categories for the 62nd Annual Southern California Journalism Awards. The seven categories in which Gerami is a finalist are a mix of investigative reporting, political coverage, social justice issues, and interviews. He is recognized for his print and online journalism, as well as interviews on his namesake radio show.
On Monday, February 15, 2021, it was announced the Gerami is a finalist for the LA Press Club’s National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards in three (3) categories: Best Radio Anchor/Host, Vic Gerami, KPFK 90.7 FM (Pacifica Network), “The Blunt Post with Vic,” Best Online Commentary Analysis/Trend-TV, Vic Gerami, The Blunt Post, “Binge on GayBingeTV, 24/7 LGBTQIA+ programming,” and Best Entertainment Publication, Vic Gerami, The Blunt Post, “The Blunt Post.”
Gerami is also a contributor to some of the most prominent publications in the nation, including Windy City Times, California Courier, IN Magazine, OUT Traveler, The Fight, and The Advocate Magazine, among others.
The Wall Street Journal featured Gerami as a “leading gay activist” in its landmark 2008 coverage of opposition to Proposition 8, the ballot measure that for years denied same-sex couples in California the freedom to marry. In addition to his years of volunteer work as a leading advocate for marriage equality, later Gerami went on to serve as a Planning Committee member for the historic Resist March in 2017.
In 2015, Gerami was referenced in the landmark Supreme Court civil rights case, Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Court held in a 5–4 decision that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process and the Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.