BBG Watch Commentary

According to new U.S. media reports, including those in Business Insider and Politico, text messages between two FBI agents assigned to the ongoing investigation into Russia interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with President Donald Trump’s campaign reveal that they made a reference to Trump as an idiot and used other disparaging names.

Peter Strzok, a former counter-intelligence agent, was “immediately” ousted by special counsel Robert Mueller, who heads the Russia investigation, upon discovering the texts in July, according to Politico and USA Today.

However, reporters working for U.S. taxpayer-funded ($224 million in FY 2017) Voice of America (VOA), who are federal government employees and are required not only by U.S. law and government regulations to avoid partisanship but also by journalistic ethics, are still keeping online their Facebook posts, in which they referred to Donald Trump or reposted memes which referred to Trump as f*uck cheeto with hair and f*cking Trumpy,” or F*ckface Von Clownstick.”

As early as June 2016, Voice of America director Amanda Bennett and her boss, Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) CEO John Lansing had been warned about such social media posts by Voice of America reporters as serious violations of journalistic ethics, but many of these anti-Trump memes and slogans still remain on personal but public Facebook pages of VOA reporters as of mid-December 2017.

In 2016, the VOA Ukrainian Service even posted a video on the official VOA Facebook account in which Donald Trump was called “punk,” “dog,” “pig,” “con,” “buls**t artist,” “mutt,” “idiot,” “fool,” “bozo,” and “blatantly stupid.” The VOA video without any balance and response was eventually removed by the management, but amy other biased and one-sided VOA political reports remain online as do offensive and often obscene social media posts about Trump authored by some Voice of America reporters.

The fact that these posts which violate common rules of objective journalism still remain online shows that Voice of America reporters do not fear any kind of negative reaction from VOA director Amanda Bennett or BBG CEO John Lansing, both of whom are Obama administration era appointees. What happened to FBI agent Peter Strzok is not likely to happen to these VOA reporters as long as Bennett and Lansing are still in charge of the Voice of America and the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

However, a VOA reporter who allegedly surreptitiously posted anti-Hillary Clinton and racist social media messages was recently suspended.

The reporter who was suspended for alleged anti-Clinton bias and racial epithets reportedly had tried to hide his identity before being discovered.

Social media posts in which Donald Trump is called f*uck cheeto with hair,” f*cking Trumpy,” and F*ckface Von Clownstick,” can be easily traced to VOA reporters who did not try to hide their government employment with the Voice of America.