BBG Watch Commentary

Stop the presses!

We interrupt our regular BBG Watch holiday content preparation to bring you the latest Omarosa gossip from the Voice of America (VOA) White House Bureau Chief Steve Herman, a longtime journalist and a U.S. government employee of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) who was described recently by the federal agency’s management as VOA’s “Twitter king.”

Gentleman on his cell phone next to me in the diner says @Omarosa45 “called me yesterday asking me if she could get a job with you…They had to drag her out of the White House.”

After Mr. Herman posted his tweet about Omarosé Onée Manigault-Newman, a former participant in the reality television show “The Apprentice,” often referred to simply as Omarosa, a Twitter user DsmIowa, @dsmiowa‏ replying to the Voice of America correspondent @W7VOA @Omarosa45 — asked:

Why is VOA dealing with gossip?

Until a few days ago, Omarosa served as the director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison for the Trump administration and left under still somewhat unclear but apparently unpleasant circumstances.

Why is VOA Dealing with Gossip?

Indeed. Why? Especially, gossip overheard by chance in a diner.

While in this case the Voice of America White House Bureau Chief appears to have been a direct witness to this completely insignificant telephone conversation, which could have been simple bragging by a testosterone-driven male or just a joke, two of Steve Herman’s other recent tweets were based on journalistic gossip without any direct knowledge of the critical facts. These tweets have turned out to be spectacularly wrong. False news, if you will.

We respectfully suggested a few days ago that Mr. Herman should follow VOA’s old “two-source rule” whenever he tweets.

Tweeting wrong information by a Voice of America correspondent could be disastrous and dangerous in a standoff between the United State and a nuclear power or in a terrorist attack situation. In one of his early tweets on the recent New York City terrorist attack, Mr. Herman highlighted a local media report that the incident was related to “road rage.” The information was completely wrong. It was a terrorist act committed in cold blood by a terrorist. Mr. Herman later corrected his tweet with accurate reporting, but before that it was the only reporting the U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America ($240 million in FY 2017) had.

A VOA Plug For Later Discredited ABC Report

Steve Herman also called the now disgraced and suspended ABC reporter Brian Ross arguably the most connected broadcast reporter for some decades when it comes to learning about details of federal criminal investigations.” Mr. Herman gave his high professional recommendation for the erroneous ABC Flynn report by Ross that caused the stock market to drop significantly before recovering after the news was declared to be completely false on the most critical piece of information.

The next day, the ABC network issued an apology: “We deeply regret and apologize for the serious error we made yesterday.” The ABC network also announced in a statement: “Effective immediately, Brian Ross will be suspended for four weeks without pay.”

Mr. Herman later tweeted that it was all a mistake, but the damage was already done.


We would recommend no gossip from now on and much stricter adherence to the VOA Charter and VOA BEST PRACTICES GUIDE, which says:

“VOA’s reporting should not be based on rumor, speculation or gossip, but instead by applying the rigorous standards for any story.

We think this rule should also cover all tweets by VOA correspondents, including tweets by @VOANews’ Twitter king

—, as Mr. Herman was recently called by the Voice of America management.


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