Op-Ed: Strange and Incomprehensible Actions of the Broadcasting Board of Governors

Op-Ed: Strange and Incomprehensible Actions of the Broadcasting Board of Governors

A Guest Commentary from Canada by Edite Lynch

It has become worldwide knowledge that American President Barack Obama, in a sit-down chat with Prime Minister Medvedev of Russia, categorically stated that he would have more “flexibility” after the 2012 American election in November, which quite obviously he expects to win.

Considering the fact that very early in his presidency he quickly engaged with Russia and went through a mock ceremony of “Restarting” relations, it soon became apparent that he was giving away the store in the new START treaty and America was placed in a disadvantaged state vis a vis anti-ballistic missile defense.

Given this kind of information of sucking up to Putin’s Russia, it becomes even more disturbing when one hears about the strange and incomprehensible actions of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) toward both its U.S citizen broadcasters working at the Voice of America (VOA) but also the many foreign journalists and contractors who outnumber the Americans, as well as the termination of seasoned journalists to be replaced by neophytes untrained in media issues.

The “flexibility” comment becomes more insidious when viewed through the prism of what is happening with a very respected and valued organization such as the Voice of America which has operated for 70 years with tremendous results, especially in the former Soviet Union.

It is also common knowledge that a fish starts to decay from the head on down. Are the inexplicable machinations of the BBG managers being directed from a source that is by-passing the oversight committees in Congress?

Given the very obvious kowtowing to Russia and with the Voice of America Russian Service broadcasting a fake interview purporting to be that of Alex Nalvalny in order to discredit a valuable anti-Putin activist at will, without just cause and with impunity, the question must be asked, who is really pulling the strings in this situation?

If the BBG is acting as an island unto itself, with no real oversight from Congress, which appears to be the case except for its revised position regarding VOA Cantonese and Mandarin language broadcasts to China and Tibet, then that behaviour must be curtailed because American taxpayer dollars are supporting the BBG in a way that is neither fruitful nor productive given the VOA Charter and its abused employees.

The BBG managers are definitely not worth the money that is being paid to them for not doing what their job descriptions call for, which is to correctly manage America’s voice to the world in an exemplary fashion as well as a truthful one. There continues to be something rotten in the state of the BBG that is not being adequately addressed.

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