BBG Watch Commentary
Poorly-managed U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA) reported Monday during business hours on Vice President Biden’s phone call earlier in the day about Ukraine with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, but after business hours, Voice of America reporting slows down.
As of 10:00 PM EST Monday, there is no report on the VOA main English news website about a telephone call this afternoon Vice President Biden had with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk “to discuss ongoing diplomatic efforts to support Ukraine’s stability, sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
There is also no reporting on the VOA website about Vice President Biden’s meeting Monday with Moldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leanca, during which both leaders “re-affirmed the United States’ strong support for Moldovan sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders,” clearly as a signal to the Kremlin.
During a joint press conference Monday in Washington with visiting Moldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leanca, Kerry said Russia has used its influence to apply pressure on Ukraine similar to tactics used in Moldova. “Russia, in some of the challenges we are seeing right now in Ukraine, has put pressure on Moldova. VOA did report on this comment, but it happened during business hours.
It is not clear whether VOA has a permanent White House correspondent checking White House emails after business hours. This was done by a VOA White House correspondent who left the organization on Friday. When President Obama delivered a statement on Ukraine Friday afternoon, the VOA news booth at the White House was empty.
The White House readout on today’s Biden-Yatsenyuk phone call was released at about 7:30PM EST. As of 10:00 PM EST, there is nothing on the phone call on the VOA English news website, VOA Ukrainian news website, or VOA Russian news website.
BBG Watch has also noted that because VOA executives failed to give VOA Ukrainian Service enough resources, VOA Ukrainian Facebook page has not been updated since yesterday. The last VOA Ukrainian Service Tweet as of 10:00 PM EST is five hours old.
VOA English news homepage story on Ukraine has not been updated for a few hours.
While Voice of America often misses coverage of important political news stories, involving the White House, the State Department, and the U.S. Congress, under VOA Director David Ensor and VOA Executive Editor Steve Redisch Voice of America websites have had multiple news reports and videos about the British royal family, Justin Bieber, and a New York dog show.
Members of the oversight Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) are said to be concerned.
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release
March 3, 2014
Readout of the Vice President’s Calls on Ukraine
In a telephone call this afternoon, Vice President Biden spoke with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk to discuss ongoing diplomatic efforts to support Ukraine’s stability, sovereignty and territorial integrity. The two leaders also reviewed plans to support Ukraine’s economic reforms. In addition, the Vice President spoke by telephone with Estonian President Toomas Ilves to consult on the situation in Ukraine, including the international effort to de-escalate the situation and assure the stability of Ukraine and the region.
The White House
Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release March 03, 2014
Readout of Vice President Biden’s Meeting with Moldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leanca
The President joined Vice President Biden’s meeting today with Moldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leanca. The President praised the strong and important friendship between our two countries and underscored the United States’ deep commitment to supporting Moldova’s European aspirations. The Vice President emphasized that the United States has a profound interest in Moldova’s success as a democratic partner with strong rule of law. He also commended the launching of a new strategic dialogue between our countries, which will serve as a practical forum for strengthening cooperation, including on economic ties. Both the President and the Vice President re-affirmed the United States’ strong support for Moldovan sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.