BBG Watch Media Commentary

Washington Free Beacon senior writer Susan Crabtree who has been reporting on U.S government media outreach conducted at taxpayers’ expense through the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), previously known as the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), has exposed an effort in the U.S. Senate led by rebel outgoing Republican Senator Bob Corker from Tennessee that would allow Obama administration era officials to keep their jobs in charge of USAGM media entities.

Outgoing Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) is teeing up another parting shot to President Trump by facilitating an effort to undermine his choice to lead the nation’s taxpayer-funded global broadcasting operation, according to several GOP sources.
The same day Corker rebuked Trump by supporting a bill forcing the United States to withdraw from Yemen, the vocal Trump critic quietly held a Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote approving a bill that would greatly curtail the power of Michael Pack, the incoming new head of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, or USAGM.

According to critics, Obama administration appointees have undermined objective journalism with blatant anti-Trump partisanship in Voice of America (VOA) programming, poor management, abuse of government travel, cronyism, cozying up to foreign governments, especially the Iranian regime, and censorship in response to pressure. Crabtree quoted Dr. Sasha Gong, VOA Mandarin Service chief, whom VOA Director Amanda Bennett wants to fire. Gong referred to a comment then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made to Congress in 2013 that “Our Broadcasting Board of Governors is practically defunct in terms of its capacity to be able to tell a message around the world.” Also quoted in the Washington Free Beacon article is former VOA acting associate director Ted Lipien, who is one of the co-founders of BBG Watch.

“a small group of partisan managers and a few biased reporters who hate Donald Trump with a religious passion have transformed what used to be an effective U.S. tool against totalitarianism into their own partisan soapbox. In doing so, they have intimidated and marginalized the rest of the VOA workforce.”


READ MORE: Corker, Menendez Push Effort to ‘Neuter’ Trump’s Broadcasting Chief. Critics: Bill would protect Obama holdovers at VOA, other entities Washington Free Beacon, November 30, 2018