BBG Watch Commentary

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) continues to repeat anti-U.S., anti-Trump, and anti-Israel propaganda emanating from Iran’s government officials and autocratic religious leaders without providing any balance, context, or counter. The U.S. taxpayer-funded media entity (Annual Budget: $102.1 million) is overseen from Washington by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), a U.S. federal agency with an annual budget of $777.8 million, including RFE/RL. The BBG also oversees the Voice of America (VOA) with its annual budget of $224 million (also included in BBG’s $777.8 million total budget).

In one of the latest one-sided Iranian “news” reports, some RFE/RL reporters and editors (“advocates” would be a better term considering their one-sided coverage) quote Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Majid Takht-Ravanchi as saying on March 7 that “The new executive order is also worthless from a judicial point of view.” He was referring to President Trump’s executive order regulating travel to the U.S. RFE/RL reinforced the “worthless” comment by repeating it twice, once in the caption under the photo of the Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister and the second time in the actual report.

The “worthless” description was not balanced in the RFE/RL report with any responses or comments from the Trump administration officials or independent experts.

The assertion by the Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister reported by RFE/RL that “Iran had not been involved in any terrorist attacks on U.S. soil” was also not challenged.

There is plenty of evidence and information that Iran and its terrorist proxies have targeted American civilians and military personnel abroad for many years. Iran’s agents have been active in buying influence and harassing Iranians living in the United States and in other Western countries. Iran continues to be a sponsor of terrorism worldwide.

While some experts worry about non-existent U.S. government propaganda in RFE/RL and Voice of America (VOA) programs, most have been silent on pro-Iran, anti-Trump, anti-U.S. and some pro-Russia propaganda already present for some time in these U.S. taxpayer-paid broadcasts and online content. Why and how such propaganda gets into these programs has not yet been fully investigated or explained, but extremely poor management and lack of leadership at the most senior levels are usually mentioned as key factors contributing to strategic chaos translating into anti-mission activities.

SEE: Protecting America’s Voice Abroad: A memo to the new CEO of U.S. international media, Martha Bayles and Jeffrey Gedmin, The American Interest, March 2, 2017.

RFE/RL has also posted a number of one-sided “news” reports vilifying Israel in which the Jewish state was called “Fake Entity” and the “Evil Zionist regime,”, also without any balance or counter from RFE/RL.

We wonder why U.S. taxpayers should be paying for spreading, amplifying and justifying Iran’s regime’s anti-Israel, anti-Semitic and anti-U.S. rants without any attempt by RFE/RL to provide balance and to counter such anti-American propaganda in some of the same RFE/RL “news” reports. This is not the Cold War-type FBIS monitoring service to provide to U.S. government officials and scholars transcripts of broadcasts from behind the Iron Curtain, which were then not easily available in English. These RFE/RL reports are not presented as a monitoring service. RFE/RL has put itself in business of spreading Iran’s propaganda by presenting it as legitimate news. It is not U.S. Government propaganda; it is often anti-U.S. Government propaganda and anti-Israel propaganda at the same time.

We call it fake propaganda news being spread by RFE/RL, VOA, and BBG at U.S. taxpayers’ expense by some managers, editors and reporters who obviously must think that Israel and Donald Trump are evil. (Some of them show their contempt for Trump on their personal social media pages.) They are certainly entitled to their opinions, but they should express them elsewhere at their own expense. U.S. taxpayers are not funding the Broadcasting Board of Governors, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty and the Voice of America to spread Iran’s or Russia’s propaganda.

Meanwhile, VOA, which like RFE/RL is 100% funded by U.S. taxpayers (unlike RFE/RL, VOA is actually run directly by federal government officials and employees), is also repeating Iran’s anti-U.S. and anti-Donald Trump propaganda, often without any balance or counter, critics charge.

The Washington Free Beacon journalist Adam Kredo reported on February 20 that A group of nearly 100 prominent Iranian dissidents is demanding that Congress launch investigations into clandestine efforts by the Islamic Republic to influence U.S. policy using a network of lobbyists and propaganda pieces placed in Voice of America’s Persian service….

BBG Watch reported recently that the BBG and VOA management had followed and legitimized a fake VOA Iran Twitter feed for years before discovering due to our reporting and admitting last month that the feed was set up by an unidentified impostor.

ALSO SEE: More of Iran’s unchallenged anti-Israel propaganda from RFE/RL – ‘Fake Entity Israel’, BBG Watch, March 8, 2017.

ALSO SEE: U.S. tax-funded RFE/RL helps spread Iran’s hate propaganda against Israel, needs reforms, BBG Watch, March 6, 2017.


DISCLAIMER: We repost this one-sided Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) report as a public service to show what BBG media entities should not be doing, not because we agree with anything that RFE/RL has reported in this text.


Iran Continues Ban On U.S. Visitors After Trump’s Revised Order

March 07, 2017


“The new executive order is also worthless from a judicial point of view,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Majid Takht-Ravanchi said on March 7.

Tehran says it will continue its retaliatory measure barring entry into Iran by U.S. citizens in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to temporarily bar entry into the United States of citizens from six Muslim-majority countries, including Iran.

Trump on March 6 signed a revised executive order that temporarily freezes the issuing of new visas for citizens of Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen after his original order was blocked by U.S. federal judges.

Individuals from those six countries with preexisting, valid visas would still have their visas honored under the revised executive order, which goes into effect on March 16.

“The new executive order is also worthless from a judicial point of view,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Majid Takht-Ravanchi said on March 7.

Takht-Ravanchi said Iran would refuse visa requests from U.S. citizens for as long as Trump’s executive order remained in place, according to the semiofficial ISNA news agency.

He also challenged Trump’s assertion that the travel order is necessary to ensure U.S. security, stating that Iran had not been involved in any terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.

Trump’s revised order also suspends the U.S. refugee program for 120 days, but does not include the previous indefinite suspension of entry into the United States for Syrian refugees.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, ISNA, and spa

  1. They are not only anti-Israeli, they are anti everything that stay in their way. Truth is just collateral damage for these people, who have not had the least success in promoting freedom, free speech or democracy in their broadcast area, but have been exceedingly successful in promoting themselves and wiping out everyone who stood in their way.

  2. Hopefully, the new U.S. president’s emissaries will not have fallen for their wining-and-dining bait and, despite being insulated from meeting the staff, will relay the true and ugly image of what RFE/RL has become to the new administration.
    The few good people still left at RFE/RL place their hopes on this. Godspeed!

  3. It is time to go for former communist television censors who have no duty to the truth or fairness, only to their well-being. If they stay, the legendary RFE/RL will not only perish, but will destroy its reputation built over the decades with so much dedication and sacrifice. [Reputation will be destroyed] through incompetence, corruption, nepotism, and sheer terror instilled into those who do not agree with their practices.

  4. After the departure of the respected and much-loved Jeff Gedmin, they have destroyed the much respected newsroom. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty will continue its race to the bottom together with the Voice of America and the BBG. This is what one RFE/RL manager was sending out on company email shortly after meeting with Mr. Trump’s team of envoys. Unbelievable.

    Subject: Trump fish

    Yellow-skinned toxic Cowfish that resembles Donald Trump is spotted.

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