BBG Watch Media
In a Washington Times op-ed published November 21, 2016, New York Times best-selling author, political commentator, investigative reporter and Republican Party activist Kenneth R. Timmerman accused U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) of broadcasting “pro-Iranian regime propaganda”. Timmerman also accused the Voice of America Persian Service of posting “wild fantasy-land libel partisan screeds” against the Donald Trump 2016 election campaign.
KENNETH R. TIMMERMAN: Taxpayers also are asked to spend $778 million per year for international broadcasting, including Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). This is part of a larger, $1.2 billion appropriation aimed at “countering misinformation about American society and policies,” according to Mr. Kerry’s request.
The Persian-language services of both VOA and RFE/RL have long been a disaster, mocked in Iran because they broadcast pro-Iranian regime propaganda and not the pro-freedom message they were intended to convey.
During our election campaign, for example, VOA’s Persian News Network became an outlet for hard-left-wing voices such as Noam Chomsky, who called the Republican Party “the most dangerous organization in world history.” They also translated partisan screeds alleging that the Trump campaign was run by white supremacists and neo-Nazis, as if this were an established fact not wild fantasy-land libel.
READ MORE: The end of nation-building: Fulfilling Trump’s promise means halting the endless overseas cash flow, Analysis/Opinion By Kenneth R. Timmerman, The Washington Times, November 21, 2016.
BBG Watch Commentary
Under its current leadership of senior Broadcasting Board of Governors and Voice of America managers, VOA’s 2016 election campaign coverage was one-sided and full of unsupported accusations, not only against Donald Trump, but also against Democratic Party presidential hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders and even against retiring Senate Democratic leader Senator Harry Reid.
During the 2016 presidential election campaign, VOA Ukrainian Service translated and subtitled Hollywood actor Robert De Niro’s video in which he called Donald Trump “punk,” “dog,” “pig,” “con,” “buls**t artist,” “mutt,” “idiot,” “fool,” “bozo,” and “blatantly stupid.”. VOA posted its video on Facebook without offering any balance, response or rebuttal as required by the VOA Charter. After criticism, VOA eventually removed the attack video from Facebook, but other one-sided VOA programs against Donald Trump, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Senator Harry Reid were not removed. Some of these reports were highly praised by BBG’s and VOA’s senior leaders.
In 2013, Hillary Clinton who was then Secretary of State and member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors called the agency managing U.S. international broadcasting “practically defunct.”