BBG Watch Commentary
Thanks to Ted Lipien, we have been alerted to a very funny piece in Huffington Post by political satirists Lester & Charlie, “Big Brother Speaks!“, Posted in Huff Post Comedy: 07/19/2013 2:14 pm.
As you might suspect, the article is about our favorite government bureaucracy, the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB), the bureaucratic management brain watching over its journalistic orphan, the Voice of America (VOA), and only occasionally being responsive to prodding from the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), whose members would do better if they would just be quiet and let IBB experts do their job. And what a terrific job they did. Just read this and die laughing:
“Pesky citizens are always going around demanding more transparency in government. Well, this week, the U.S. government shouted, “Let the sunshine in!” And guess what they’ve decided to give you access to? Thousands of hours of government-produced propaganda!”
Sources told us that IBB officials do not think that this is funny.
BBG Watch also has links to other media articles about the so-called Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012. By now, there are hundreds of them on the web with new ones being posted all the time.
You might want to know who Lester & Charlie are. Huffington Post provides an answer:
“Lester & Charlie made hundreds of dollars from divesting their Carbon Paper Industry portfolio and using the proceeds to purchase the worldwide patent on Troll Doll Pencil Eraser Heads™. Urged by their friends, neighbors and parole officers to “give back” to society, they embarked on a career of hard-hitting investigative journalism that’s keeping the masses informed.
Today, Lester & Charlie have a worldwide audience spanning five continents and whatever Iceland is.”
To read the rest of the article and to take This Week’s Poll from the Lester & Charlie Institute of Forward Thinking!, go to:
We also offer this comment posted today by Ted Lipien on his Facebook page:
“Very funny. What is even funnier is that officials at the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) failed to anticipate how U.S. media and bloggers might react to this poorly thought out, poorly executed and poorly presented idea. Watch out for the next step. U.S.-funded international media will be “privatized” so no one can say that the U.S. government is behind “propaganda.”
All of this is harming Voice of America and undermining news programs to countries that need them. All because a few government officials and outside consultants and contractors wanted to branch out. They assured me that this will increase U.S. public support for Voice of America. It does not seem to be doing it at the moment.
The funny thing is that all of VOA programming was already available on the Internet or satellite and anybody in the United States could have legally used it, rebroadcast it, etc.
To get around this inconvenient fact, IBB officials now talk about “broadcast quality,” which is yet another propaganda ploy, because one could get in most cases “broadcast quality” before.
VOA news is not propaganda, but what IBB officials are doing and their lame explanations certainly are.
Stay tuned. I do not think this issue is going away. It’s just too good for U.S. bloggers and partisan media. It seems to be one of the few issues on which both the right and the left agree. This is perhaps the only media miracle IBB officials have produced in many years.
Domestic support for VOA may have been permanently damaged. I hope I’m wrong because in a few small services and areas less affected by mismanagement than others, VOA is still doing a great job overseas. These journalists deserve our support. A management change is desperately needed.”