BBG Watch Commentary

There is probably nothing more satisfying to the Kremlin propagandists in charge of Russia’s SPUTNIK and RT media propaganda outlets than to see their propaganda being picked up by U.S. taxpayer-funded ($224M FY 2016) Voice of America (VOA), which is managed by the fabulously dysfunctional Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the federal agency and governing board, which together with VOA, cost Americans $777 million (FY 2017).

We are sorry also to point this out, but it seems to us that neither BBG CEO and director John F. Lansing, the outgoing chairman of the BBG Board, Jeff Shell, Voice of America director Amanda Bennett, VOA deputy director Sandy Sugawara nor any single BBG board member is regularly looking at the VOA websites. If any of them are looking at VOA websites, they can’t spot how VOA is sometimes using videos and other content that have introduced or have became propaganda hits on RT and SPUTNIK. (If these U.S. government executives did look at Voice of America websites, perhaps we would not have VOA videos referring to Donald Trump as “pig” and programs smearing the reputation of Bernie Sanders and Sen. Harry Reid without them being given a chance by to defend themselves in the same programs, as required by the VOA Charter and VOA Journalistic Code.)

We are disappointed that senior BBG and VOA leaders chose to ignore earlier warnings pointing out that a “Russian Tank Cat” video produced by VOA was lifted from a video distributed earlier on Russian propaganda media outlets RT and Ruptly where it was originally placed before VOA decided to pick it up.

The “Russian Cat Tank” video is one of many such Russian government propaganda videos designed to whip up patriotic fervor among the Russians and to present Russia abroad as a friendly country that does not threaten anybody with violence or annexations of territory. The broken Voice of America was once again taken for a ride by the Russian propagandists, this time in a “Russian Cat Tank.”

The Broadcasting Board of Governors and the Voice of America need leadership that understands foreign propaganda and can defend the United States from it rather than unwittingly helping Russia spread its propaganda abroad, as well as in this country.


Watch BBG CEO John Lansing touting Broadcasting Board of Governors’ digital outreach. While he did not use the VOA “Russian Cat Tank” video to illustrate his point, we’ve added it to show what the Voice of America has become.


SEE the original Russian SPUTNIK and Russian RT tank cat propaganda videos.


SPUTNIK Russian tank cat propaganda video was published on November 3, 2016.



RT video was posted on YouTube on November 6, 2016.