Possible Amanda Bennett nomination for USAGM could offend ethnic voters and face trouble in the Senate because of Voice of America scandals.
BBG Watch Commentary
The Washington Post article by Paul Farhi, “Biden favorite to run Voice of America parent agency could face trouble with Senate GOP,” suggests trouble for Amanda Bennett, among Senate Republicans, but it is the Senate Democrats who should worry about the negative impact on ethnic voters for their own party which relies on support from immigrant communities.
USAGM Watch, a blog that has been critical of the agency’s management for years, wrote earlier this month that Senate confirmation of Bennett “would offend immigrant voters [and risk] more scandals” at USAGM. It cited “controversies” during her tenure at VOA, such as criticism from Iranian, Cuban and Chinese Americans that the broadcaster had been insufficiently critical of human-rights abuses in its news coverage of Iran, Cuba and China. READ MORE
One Washington Post reader posted the following comment:
At least the author of this piece has done some due diligence here and
mentioned USAGM Watch coverage of criticisms leveled against Bennett
when she ran VOA. The fact is that during Bennett’s tenure, VOA saw a
number of scandals. Earlier this year, Farhi reported on one of those,
revelations that a key VOA language service had basically become a
mouthpiece for the leader of Ethiopia, along with plagiarism (see LINK).
In 2020, USAGM Watch revealed the contents of a summary of a report
prepared by consultants hired by Bennett that warned about the problem
of political bias in VOA programming — yet the full report was buried
by the agency (see LINK).
And in the latest development, House Foreign Affairs Committee GOP
lawmakers are demanding extensive information from the Acting USAGM CEO,
who Bennett would replace, about the re-hiring of a key management
official (see LINK). These are just the tip of the
iceberg at USAGM, once described by none other than The Washington Post
as a “perennial bottom feeder” in annual federal employee satisfaction