‘Quagmire at the BBG’ still awaits Trump reforms, former VOA correspondent explains why

BBG Watch Media

In a new article published in the USC Center on Public Diplomacy CPD Blog, former Voice of America (VOA) senior correspondent Dan Robinson concluded that “One thing is clear: the Donald Trump who came to power promising to drain the D.C. swamp has so far not done much when it comes to the well-known quagmire at the BBG.”

In PART I: TRUMP’S BIG FAIL (SO FAR) AT THE BBG/VOA,” Robinson notes that “VOA director Amanda Bennett and her deputy Sandy Sugawara-—both also Obama holdovers-—remain in place, with Bennett facing ongoing criticisms of her leadership.”

Robinson also notes that “legendary morale problems” continue under BBG CEO John Lansing, also an Obama holdover.

“President Trump was reported to have settled months ago on [Michael] Pack, [now former] head of conservative think tank the Claremont Institute, to replace Lansing,” Robinson reported.

“What … has not occurred is any change in the BBG’s top leadership,” Robinson points out in his article.

Robinson mentions one major controversy involving “the truncating of a previously arranged multi-hour Facebook Live program with Chinese billionaire and whistleblower Guo Wengui (aka Miles Kwok).”

“With backing from Lansing, Bennett dismissed as “baseless” the charges that the interview was cut short due to pressure from China,” Robinson reported.

“As this article was being finalized, news arrived that three VOA Mandarin employees were fired by the BBG for what the agency calls ‘insubordination.’ They have the right to appeal, but as of this writing, it’s unclear where things will go.,” Robinson wrote.

Dan RobinsonDan Robinson retired in 2014 after 34 years with the Voice of America. In addition to his White House posting as senior VOA correspondent, he served as bureau chief in Nairobi, Kenya and Bangkok, Thailand. He was also the chief of the VOA Burmese Service and the Capitol Hill correspondent. Views expressed in the CPD Blog article are his own.

READ MORE: PART I: TRUMP’S BIG FAIL (SO FAR) AT THE BBG/VOA, Dan Robinson, USC Center on Public Diplomacy, CPD Blog, November 17, 2017.


READ MORE: PART II: TRUMP’S BIG FAIL (SO FAR) AT THE BBG/VOA, Dan Robinson, USC Center on Public Diplomacy, CPD Blog, November 17, 2017.


ALSO SEE: ROBINSON: Toxic Atmosphere at Broadcasting Board of Governors, BBG Watch, November 21, 2017.