BBG Watch Commentary
“Congress is calling for an investigation into Voice of America’s (VOA) Persian language news service as a result of what they say is the station’s systemic pro-Iran bias and cozy ties to the anti-American ruling regime, according to a letter sent recently to Secretary of State John Kerry,” Adam Kredo reported in an article published by The Washington Free Beacon.
“Lawmakers and Iranian dissidents have long accused VOA’s Persian News Network (PNN) of producing sympathetic coverage of the Iranian regime and blacklisting prominent Iranian opposition voices from appearing on the air,” Kredo reported.
The call from Congress for an investigation into these alleged practices comes just a month after the Washington Free Beacon revealed that PNN had banned from the network a prominent Iranian opposition member and placed him on a so-called “black list” after he attacked Iran’s ruling regime for sponsoring terrorism. The ban was reversed as soon as network heads learned of it, according to a VOA spokesman.
Nine voting House lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are now demanding that the State Department launch a formal investigation into potential mismanagement at PNN, according to a letter sent to Kerry on Wednesday with a copy to Voice of America Director David Ensor. A copy of the letter was obtained by the Free Beacon. Reps. Steve Cohen (D., Tenn.), Dana Rohrabacher (R., Calif.), Steve Stockman (R., Texas), Trent Franks (R., Ariz.), Howard Coble (R., N.C.), Eni Faleomavaega (D. non-voting Delegate, American Samoa), William Lacy Clay, Jr. (D., Missouri), Tom McClintock (R., California) and Andy Harris (R., Maryland) have signed the letter to Secretary Kerry.