In February Vogue, known for its hard-hitting political coverage, wrote an awestruck profile of Syrian first lady Asma al-Assad, the wife of brutal dictator Bashar al-Assad. The article was called “Rose of the Desert,” and described the first lady as “glamorous, young, and very chic.”
Among other absurd quotes, the article commented on the “wildly democratic principles” on which the presidential family’s house was run, and talks about how the dictator was elected president in 2000 with “a startling 97 percent of the vote” because “in Syria, power is hereditary.”
Trouble was that shortly after, the “tall, long-necked, blue-eyed” tyrant presided over the murder of more than 300 demonstrators in a brutal crackdown in Syria. Now Gawker reports that Vogue has removed the profile from its website, and all that remains of the “Rose of the Desert” is a “The page you’re looking for cannot be found” 404 message.
It’s probably for the best.