Brown Lloyd James, which worked for Libya’s Col. Qaddafi, received $25K from Syria for arranging a Vogue photo shoot with First Lady Asma al-Assad, according to its just-filed Justice Dept. registration.
She’s the wife of Bashar al-Assad, who invaded Lebanon, allied with Iran/Hamas and is currently leading a bloody crackdown on protestors. Syria ranked as the fourth member of President Bush’s “Axis of Evil.”
The BLJ assignment began Nov. 22 and ran until the article was published in March. BLJ’s effort resulting in a flattering piece that was headlined “A Rose in the Desert.”
It described Asma al-Assad as “glamorous, young and very chic—the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies.” She’s a “rare combination: a thin, long-limbed beauty with a trained analytic mind who dresses with cunning understatement.”
The “fawning treatment of the Assad family and its portrayal of the regime as tolerant and peaceful generated surprise and outrage in the Washington foreign policy community,” reported theatlantic.com.
Vogue senior editor Chris Knutsen defended the piece as a “profile of the First Lady, and not a “referendum on the Al-Assad regime.”
BLJ collected $1.3M from Libya in 2009 for arranging Qaddafi’s visit to the United Nations.