BBG – USAGM Watch Commentary

UPDATE In yet another news reporting failure for the Voice of America, BBC, Russia’s RT and SPUTNIK and many other media have already posted reports about the U.S. House of Representatives voting to condemn “hateful expressions of intolerance,” but as of 5:55 PM, March 7, 2019, VOA has not yet posted anything about the result of the House vote.

U.S. government-run and taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA), managed by Obama administration appointed officials in the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), was silent for several days on its VOA News English-language website about the latest anti-Semitic slur by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and about the strong condemnation of her remarks about Jewish-Americans by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY).

The first time VOA News English-language news website had anything on the latest anti-Semitic controversy was at 7:16 AM March 5, 2019 when it posted not even its own but a short AP news report. By then, international and US media had been reporting on the controversy already for several days. Rep. Engel issued his statement condenmning Rep. Omar’s remarks on March 1. The first time any of this was mentioned on the VOA News website was on March 5. Rep. Engel’s statement received only a few words in one sentence in the AP report posted on the VOA website. VOA did not post its own report on the Omar anti-Semitic controversy until the evening of March 5.

Inside sources believe that VOA Newsroom writers, editors and managers were afraid to initiate a news report about Rep. Omar because it reflected poorly on a Democratic Party politician who is an immigrant and perhaps also for other ideological or partisan reasons. Several VOA Newsroom reporters had in the past posted obscene anti-Trump comments and memes on social media which remained online for many months despite USAGM Obama administration CEO John Lansing’s statement to NPR that the agency has the “greatest respect” for the President and statements from VOA Director Amanda Bennett that she opposes unprofessional behavior.

SEE: Voice of America silent on Eliot Engel, other US condemnations of ‘vile anti-Semitic slur’ by Rep. Omar, BBG – USAGM Watch, March 4, 2019.


Other examples of partisanship and decline of professionalism at the taxpayer-funded Voice of America.