Voice of America censors “Let’s go Brandon” phrase in an apparent effort to protect President Biden. No VOA Central English Newsroom reporter or editor has dared to write about this U.S. political and cultural news story. They practice self-censorship apparently out of fear of hurting their career and/or being ostracized by their strongly pro-Biden Voice of America colleagues, managers and senior executives. They are all federal government employees in the $800 million (average annual budget) U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM).
USAGM Watch Commentary
Voice of America (VOA) Central English Newsroom ignores, downplays or delays coverage of news stories and cultural phenomena in the United States if they reflect poorly on President Biden and the Democratic Party. VOA reporters and editors, however, were not at all reluctant to report criticism of former President Trump when he was in office, while at the same time claiming that they might be forced to limit criticism of Trump by the former Trump-appointed USAGM and VOA management.
The latest example of self-imposed censorship in the VOA Central English Newsroom is the “Let’s Go Brandon” controversy. The VOA Newsroom has ignored it.
The story was not ignored by the BBC, Russia’s RT, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and practically all other major international and U.S. news organizations. The Russian state propaganda channel RT had several reports and commentaries on the “Let’s go Brandon” controversy.
BBC: How ‘Let’s go Brandon’ became an anti-Biden conservative heckle, Anthony Zurcher, North America BBC Reporter, October 12, 2021
RT (Russia): Southwest on defense as AP reporter claims she was almost ‘removed’ from flight after pilot signed off with ‘Let’s Go Brandon’, October 30, 2021
CNN: ‘Let’s go Brandon,’ explained, Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large, November 1, 2021`
The Voice of America management and the editors cannot claim that they are avoiding the story because they would be forced to explain an obscenity against the President of the United States.VOA reporters and editors used obscenities on social media against Donald Trump. In one VOA program, Trump was called “punk,” “dog,” “pig,” “con,” “buls**t artist,” “mutt,” “idiot,” “fool,” “bozo,” and “blatantly stupid.” A VOA Newsroom reporter told a sexual joke about Melania Trump, which was streamed live on social media. The VOA Newsroom could have easily explained the phrase “Let’s Go Brandon” to an international audience in an objective way, presenting views of both political sides and independent experts.
Among USAGM Watch volunteer citizen journalists are Democrats, Independents, and Republicans. We are all against censorship to protect any government official, whether it is President Trump or President Biden. We support VOA news reporting according to the legal requirements of the VOA Charter.
We have asked one of our sources in the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) to explain VOA’s censorship of this story and got this response:
I’m not surprised. Let’s Go Brandon has become a cultural phenomenon here, and that should be newsworthy for VOA’s audience, whether you’re a fan of LGB or not. It appears the VOA English news team ignored a U.S. cultural development that they didn’t like.
Our source does not want to be identified because of the fear of reprisals from the management.
In the past, the Voice of America Special English Programs would explain such phrases when they became popular in the United States..
We have a question for the Voice of America and U.S. Agency for Global Media management.
Where’s the Beef?
We are also curious to know:
What happened to the VOA Charter?
As a reminder, the VOA Charter, which is U.S. law, says: “VOA will represent America, not any single segment of American society, and will therefore present a balanced and comprehensive projection of significant American thought and institutions.”