BBG Watch Commentary

UPDATE: As of 4:15 PM EDT, Voice of America English news website still has nothing on Vice President Biden’s announcement of President Obama’s trip to Poland, Belgium, and France in June.

A report about Obama’s trip, not from Voice of America, but from Reuters, was finally posted on the VOA English news website at about 4:20 PM EDT, about four hours after Vice President Biden made the announcement. The Reuters report on the VOA site has only five sentences as of 5:00 PM EDT. The report says nothing about Vice President Biden’s speech today and his comments about NATO’s Article Five security guarantees.

The following media outlets have reported this news, some more than three hours ago:

Obama to visit Poland, Belgium, France in June

Washington Post – ‎3 hours ago‎
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will visit Poland, Belgium and France during a trip to Europe in June. That’s according to Vice President Joe Biden. He’s announcing Obama’s itinerary during a speech to the Atlantic Council in Washington.

Obama Will Travel to Poland, Belgium, France in June

Wall Street Journal – ‎2 hours ago‎
WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama will travel to Poland, Belgium and France in June, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday. Mr. Obama’s trip includes a meeting in Brussels with leaders from the Group of Seven leading world …

UPDATE 1-Obama to visit Poland in June on European tour

Reuters – ‎38 minutes ago‎
WASHINGTON, April 30 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will visit Poland in June, adding the stop to a trip in which Russia’s actions in Ukraine are expected to dominate his agenda, as it did during his last trip to Europe in March. Obama will hold bilateral …

Obama to visit Poland in June as part of Europe tour

GlobalPost – ‎2 hours ago‎
US President Barack Obama will visit Poland in June as part of a European tour that will also include stops in France and Belgium, Vice President Joe Biden announced Wednesday. The visit toPoland comes as Washington tries to allay the concerns of its …

Obama to travel to Poland, Belgium, France for D-Day commemoration

Washington Times – ‎2 hours ago‎
President Obama will travel to Poland, Belgium and France in early June for meetings with European leaders and to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the White House said Wednesday. Mr. Obama will visit Poland first to mark the 25th anniversary …

Obama to visit Poland in June, Vice President Biden says

WTAQ – ‎3 hours ago‎
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will visit Poland in June, adding the stop to a European trip that will also take him to a G7 summit in Brussels and to France for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said …

URGENT – obama poland

KSPR – ‎3 hours ago‎
… AM CDT Apr 30, 2014. Small Text; Medium Text; Large Text. Print; Email. Tweet. (CNN) — President Barack Obama will visit Poland in June on a European swing that will include stops in Belgium and France, Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday.

Obama going to Poland, France, G-7 in Brussels in June – Biden

Kuwait News Agency – ‎1 hour ago‎
Obama will go to Poland for the 25th anniversary of democratic elections there; to Brussels to consult with the G-7 on Ukraine and other issues; and to France, where he will celebrate the 70th anniversary of D-Day, Biden said. “We have a lot of work cut out for …
Voice of America Europe News Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 4.45PM EDT. Nearly five hours after Vice President Biden's speech there is still no mention of his announcement that President Obama will visit Europe in June.
Voice of America Europe News Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 4.45PM EDT. Nearly five hours after Vice President Biden’s speech there is still no mention of his announcement that President Obama will visit Europe in June on the VOA Europe News page, even though a report from Reuters was finally included on the homepage at about that time. As of 4:45 PM EDT, VOA report ‘NATO Boosts Presence in Eastern Europe as Turmoil Continues in Ukraine’ has no mention of Obama’s European trip which, as Vice President Biden announced, will include consolations with NATO allies about Russia and Ukraine.

Biden-Atlantic-Council-4-30-14Speaking at the Atlantic Council conference in Washington, DC, “Europe Whole and Free,” which so far has been largely ignored by U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA), U.S. Vice President Joe Biden announced that President Obama will visit Poland in June 2014 to mark the 25th anniversary of democratic elections that resulted in a victory of candidates backed by the Solidarity movement and brought about the end of communism in Poland.

Vice President Biden also announced that President Obama will also visit Brussels to consult with G-7 leaders on Ukraine and other issues and France to celebrate the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Vice President Biden also said: “In response to Russian aggression America is taking steps to make clear that our allies will honor the solemn commitments under Article Five of the NATO Treaty.” “There are no and, if, ir buts about that. That is an absolute, iron-clad guarantee,” Vice President Biden added.

Vice president Biden made his announcement about President Obama’s trip to Europe shortly after 12 noon. Two hours later, as of 2:20PM EDT Tuesday, April 30, 2014, the Voice of America is still not reporting this news.

Link to Video on YouTube.

The Voice of America English news website has so far largely failed to report on the Atlantic Council conference. VOA did report yesterday that “in Washington, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Tuesday called on Russia ‘to leave Ukraine in peace.’ In a speech at the non-governmental Atlantic Council, Kerry blamed Russia for the current crisis in Ukraine, accusing Moscow of attempting to change the security landscape in eastern and central Europe.” This was not a separate report on Secretary Kerry’s speech or the conference, but two sentences inserted into an older Ukraine-related VOA news report. We did find a separate VOA English News report on Kerry’s speech, but it was short and without any video: “Kerry Says NATO Territory Inviolable,” VOA News< April 29, 2014. The VOA Russian Service had a separate online report on Secretary Kerry’s speech. The VOA Ukrainian Service has now posted online Vice President Biden’s address in English. The VOA Russian Service website still has no news on Biden’s speech and his announcement of President Obama’s June trip to Poland, Belgium, and France.

Vice President Biden’s address and his announcement of President Obama’s trip to Europe in June, which made news on other international media outlets, have not yet been reported by Voice of America on its English news website. (2:30 PM EDT)

Exceptionally bad management at the Voice of America and the BBG’s International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) has prompted a bipartisan group of members of Congress led by U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ranking Member, to introduce H.R. 4490, the United States International Communications Reform Act.  The legislation is designed to improve the missions, objectives, and effectiveness of U.S. international broadcasters.

According to the Atlantic Council press release, the conference’s co-chairs, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, are the intellectual forces behind this bipartisan project, which will include addresses by Vice President Joe Biden (delivered), Secretary of State John Kerry, and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso.

At the conference, “current and former prime ministers and foreign ministers from Europe’s East and South will discuss broad strategies for securing the futures of their regions. Central and Eastern European defense ministers and NATO officials will explore the security questions that now are lit so starkly by Russia’s assaults on Ukraine and the fears of a widened conflict,” the Atlantic Council press release states.

The Atlantic Council has already posted the following videos, which could have provided a wealth of news reporting and news analysis material for the Voice of America.

Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) spoke as part of the Atlantic Council’s Toward a Europe Whole and Free conference on the US role in European security. Both senators believe that events in Ukraine are vital to the transatlantic relationship, with Senator Murphy calling it “a test,” an opportunity for the United States to show that the bond with Europe is not borne of “temporary, strategy interest.”

A keynote conversation with H.E. Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission.

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