BBG Watch Commentary

John O'Sullivan Photo, NROThe former editorial chief of Radio Free Europe says the mass firings of top radio journalists from its Moscow affiliate, Radio Liberty, will weaken press criticism of President Vladimir Putin.

John O’Sullivan, who served as executive editor of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty from 2008 until 2011, tells Newsmax TV that U.S. changes at the radio station will embolden Putin, who has been limiting press freedoms and stifling independent news reporting.

“This is not just a question of soft power,” O’Sullivan, the magazine’s editor-at-large, tells Newsmax. “It’s not just a question of cutting back on soft power.

John O’Sullivan argues that both Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Congress have supported Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty over the years and both are appalled by the meltdown caused by RFE/RL president Steven Korn who is now resigning.

BBG Watch notes that opposition to Korn is also bipartisan on the Broadcasting Board of Governors. According to sources inside the BBG administration in Washington, Democrats joined Republican member Victor Ashe to demand earlier Korn’s resignation and are working now on ways to rehabilitate the journalists he had fired at RFE/RL.

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