Since Vogue published an exquisitely timed fawning profile of the "glamorous, young, and very chic" first lady of Syria Asma al-Assad in February, her husband has presided over the murder of more than 300 demonstrators and jailed more than 10,000 political prisoners in a bloody crackdown. Now Asma has fled to England and Vogue has tossed the profile down the memory hole.
Where the "Rose of the Desert" was once found wrapped in a purple shawl on Vogue's web site, there's now just an "OOPS: The page you're looking for cannot be found" message, which is probably just as well for the magazine, which came in for relentless criticism over the story. It could just be part of the site's normal turnover of old content, but other stories from the February issue are still online. Calls to Vogue and to Joan Juliet Buck, the profile's author, were not immediately returned.