This month, President Donald Trump effectively coerced Senate Republicans to ram throughout the stalled nomination of conservative filmmaker Michael Pack to run the United States Agency for Global Media, which oversees a handful of federally funded but editorially impartial media businesses, like Voice of America. Pack, an ally of former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, was selected by Trump in hopes of guidance favorable coverage from the crowd of outlets, which, put together, amount to some of the largest media networks on the earth. Trump has railed on about the buttoned up insurance of VOA, which broadcasts in 40 languages to as many as 280 million people a week, at one point relating to it as the “Voice of the Soviet Union,” and more these days accusing it of reciting Chinese propaganda. On Wednesday night, Pack did what he was sent to do and summarily fired the heads of the five media agencies overseen by the media agency. Pack also dismissed the bipartisan board that oversees the media companies, changing it with Trump loyalists, adding himself as the chair.
The top brass of Voice of America had already resigned earlier in the week but by Wednesday Pack had cleared out the last management of five more of the agency’s media groups: Radio Free Asia, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Middle East Broadcasting Networks, the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, and the Open Technology Fund. The elimination of the networks’ top brass, which have been historically dedicated to broadcasting strait laced news to parts of the area where real news is hard to come by, is an ominous sign. Installing a Bannon aligned leader that seems bent on making the community of agencies what they were specially designed to combat is simply the most recent sign of the degradation brought on by the Trump management. The entire point of Voice of America, created in 1942 as a radio broadcast, was to combat Nazi propaganda with good faith news reporting. VOA is regularly occurring with navigating the altering political winds in Washington and masking its mandate to do the inside track despite the whims of the political leaders that oversee its investment. While VOA itself had overtly political oversight in its early days, establishing it to accusations that it too was propaganda in its own right, its venture has been refined and its independence reinforced through the years.
For a no nonsense report on Trump’s criticism of the network and its historical past, it’s no shock that you just needn’t look extra than VOA itself, which produced this unselfconscious account of the Trump generated controversy and its history. “By 1976, Congress and VOA executives decided the agency needed a clearer editorial mandate to ensure that it maintained credibility with overseas audiences,” the story reads. “Congress drafted the Charter, which says VOA must publish correct news; produce content material that represents all of American society; and supply clear reasons and discussions of U. S. guidelines.