By Quo Vadis (Mari Ciliberti)
The popular satirical Voice of America (VOA) television program to Iran PARAZIT has been off the air for nine months, but top managers at VOA, its parent agency the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), and the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) failed to mention this fact to members of their bipartisan Board and kept issuing press releases implying that the program was still being broadcast. The following commentary is from one of our regular contributors who has also included a few comments from the blogosphere.
Most importantly, the countless PARAZIT fans in Iran must feel a sense of abandonment but evidently, no one among the resident SES crowd [ at the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the International Broadcasting Bureau, and the Voice of America ] seems to care about that. No explanation was given to the many followers of the program, leaving them to wonder as to what happened. Hiatus? Vacation? Or something worse? As expected, the mysterious disappearance of this most popular show has elicited many comments in the blogosphere. Here are a few:
“This (Non)Show has become a shell…
of its former self. At the height of its popularity, Parazit was influential and the envy of competitors like BBC Persian. Even noted Iran scholar, Hamid Dabashi, was reported to have said at one point, “No one watches VOA; everyone watches Parazit.”
My, how times have changed.”
“Great Job Saman Arbabi, Bravo on so many levels … To continue not only your own mission, but Iran’s mission for future of Iran’s freedom and democracy!!! !! I hope you read all the positive & great comments here about your job!
Outside IC, I have been reading so many negative comments on Saman’s page, Kambiz’s page and Parazit’s facebook page about the new show ( With T- Dasteh Dar…) and my only problem with it is “The Separation Of Kambiz from Saman” (ironically…) The terrible way they suddenly split and left Millions of Iranians without any explanation!!
Unfortunately they chose exactly the most sensitive time, the worst time to stop for few weeks i!!! With all the recent crazy news about Iran and coming out of there… Parazit’s timing could not be any worse for Iran & Iranians at this time!!! Whether it was intentional or there is some sort of conspiracy , I don’t know and may never know, but it’s either really bad luck for Iran (as usual…) or God knows what now!!!
Anyway, Does anyone know why they did split in such a sensitive time?! And why is it that Neither Saman nor Kambiz give any clear and honest explanations to Iranian people on what happened and what’s going on now ! For millions of Iranians who have got nothing left for them to be hopeful….”
The mullahs are probably exulting at the demise of PARAZIT without them having to do a thing. Another unfortunate chapter in the very sad story of what has happened to U.S. international broadcasting.