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Mon Jun 22, 2020, 04:37 PM

The Voice of America Will Sound Like Trump

The author of this action is Michael Pack: colleague of Steve Bannon, producer of a documentary film on Clarence Thomas, and a person so indifferent to the subject of international broadcasting that several people who have met him told me they thought he didn’t really want the job. (Because they still work with him, they asked to remain anonymous.) The Trump administration nominated him as the CEO of the Agency for Global Media two years ago, but his nomination languished in the Senate, not least because Republican senators were unenthusiastic; one congressional staffer who met Pack told me that he seemed to know nothing, had not bothered to “read a 101 on the agency.” Asked about his priorities for the complex broadcasting services, he would respond, according to another interlocutor, with vague phrases like “Give me some time” and “I need to think about it.” Pack is also under criminal investigation for allegedly misdirecting money from a nonprofit to his private company, normally the kind of thing that gives the Senate pause. But for reasons that are still unclear, President Trump finally got interested in his nomination this spring, started making calls, and leaned hard on the supine Republican Senate leadership to vote him in.

Pack was finally confirmed, on a party-line vote, on June 4. A few days later he arranged, with a ghoulishly Orwellian touch, for the removal of a portrait of his popular predecessor, John Lansing, who departed the building last autumn. Quotes from a Lansing speech that had been painted on the wall beside the picture—“Since our country’s founding, journalists and journalism have stood watch over private and public officials to hold them accountable”—were painted over, causing some to wonder whether the sentiment was going to be erased as well. Then, on the evening of June 17, Pack fired the heads of all the networks, plus many senior staff, in a series of curt emails


Everyone, from Senate Republicans to the USAGM employees, was surprised. One staff member who is still employed described this purge as “unheard of” in the history of the organization. “Even in the worst-case scenarios,” he told me, “no one considered that the heads of all of the networks would be dismissed.” Some of those fired have strong Republican Party credentials. Jamie Fly, the ex-head of RFE/RL, is a former aide to Senator Marco Rubio; Alberto Fernandez, the ex-head of the Middle East Broadcasting Networks, is a former career Foreign Service officer who has been praised by commentators on the right. Others might be Democrats, but none is a partisan. Amanda Bennett, the ex-head of VOA, is a former editor in chief of The Philadelphia Inquirer and a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist; guessing what was coming, she resigned just before Pack’s arrival. Steve Capus, a former president of NBC News who was acting as a senior adviser, was also told to leave the building; Steven Springer, the head of journalistic standards, was removed from his job and given a role as temporary advisor to the new management. Both Capus and Springer had been involved in resolving the problems with Radio Martí.* Liu had announced her intention to resign as CEO of the Open Technology

Equally unprecedented was Pack’s decisions to freeze all spending and to replace all of the organizations’ bipartisan boards with six people, including himself, who appear to have been selected for no discernible reason beyond ideological purity. Among these freshly minted political commissars are Rachel Semmel, who has used her position as spokesperson for the Office of Management and Budget to provide caustic responses to questions about Trump’s disputed decision to withhold military aid from Ukraine; Bethany Kozma, who has brought her anti-abortion-rights activism to USAID; and Jonathan Alexandre, senior counsel for Liberty Counsel, an organization dedicated to “religious freedom” that once threatened legal action against a Jacksonville, Florida, library for holding a Harry Potter event, on the grounds that this constituted promotion of witchcraft.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/06/voice-america-will-sound-like-trump/613321/

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Reply The Voice of America Will Sound Like Trump (Original post)
octoberlib Jun 22 OP
leftieNanner Jun 22 #1
mahatmakanejeeves Jun 22 #2
spanone Jun 22 #3
Alacritous Crier Jun 22 #4
FM123 Jun 22 #5
diva77 Jun 22 #6

Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 04:39 PM

1. This was likely on orders from Moscow

VOA had a radio arm that reached into Russia and I'm guessing Uncle Vlad wanted that stopped.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 04:52 PM

3. another 'institution' destroyed by the prick in the WH

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 05:02 PM

4. There's going to be...

a huge mess to clean up once that jackass is out of the People's House!

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 05:03 PM

5. Rachel Maddow had terrific show the other night discussing this very topic.

Very disturbing - under the trumpy's guy Peck's control, US funded broadcasters could turn into a presidential propaganda machine.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 08:49 PM

6. K&R for exposure

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