Handel Bit Draws Fire From Armenian Group
June 8, 2009 at 5:29 AM (PT)
CLEAR CHANNEL Talk KFI-A/LOS ANGELES morning man BILL HANDEL's sarcastic humor rubbed an Armenian group the wrong way when he suggested selling GLENDALE, CA off to raise money for health care and to "get rid of all the Armenians." He also facetiously suggested in the MAY 13th segment that Italian and Irish immigrants also be banished.
The GLENDALE NEWS PRESS reports that the ARMENIAN COUNCIL OF AMERICA is protesting the comments, with Director PETER DARAKJIAN claiming that if similar comments were made about Jews and blacks, "they would turn the world upside down until they got justice." (HANDEL frequently pokes fun at most ethnic and religious groups, including his own.)
PD ROBIN BERTOLUCCI told the NEWS PRESS that the comments were a "crazy over-the-top parody" that was misinterpreted by the organization, noting HANDEL's public support of the Armenian community's campaign to get the U.S. government to recognize the Turkish killing of Armenians in 1915 as genocide. "I’m deeply sorry that anyone was offended," said BERTOLUCCI. "People who know BILL HANDEL know his history and know what he stands for," she said, adding that had the bit been anything but hyperbole, "trust me, this would be a very different conversation."