USAGM Watch Commentary

GOP Senators Demand Firings over Voice of America’s Policy against Labeling Hamas Members ‘Terrorists’ | National Review

Seven GOP senators sent a letter to U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) CEO Amanda Bennett protesting against Voice of America’s (VOA) policy against calling Hamas “terrorists,” National Review reported. The Hamas policy was discussed internally, according to a copy of the letter obtained by National Review. Amanda Bennett served as VOA director from 2016 to 2020 and as USAGM CEO, nominated by President Biden, since 2022. The letter was signed by Republican Senators: Bill Hagerty, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Pete Ricketts, Lindsey Graham, Deb Fischer, and John Barrasso.

Last month, National Review reported on the existence of the policy, which instructed VOA staffers to “avoid calling Hamas and its members terrorists, except in quotes,” though they may still refer to Hamas’s October 7 attack as “terrorist attacks” or “acts of terror” and note that the U.S. government has designated the group a foreign terrorist organization. VOA subsequently edited at least one of its reports on the attack by an Israeli freelancer to cut her use of the word “terrorists,” replacing it with “militants.”