BBG Watch Commentary

Will the board members and top executives of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) learn anything from President Obama’s victory speech? There is no other federal agency in which the President’s words: “Generous,” “Compassionate,” and “Tolerant” mean less to top agency officials than at BBG, particularly to top executives at the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).

For years, these officials have trampled the rights of journalists and other employees.

In September 2012, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty President Steven Korn brutally fired dozens of outstanding media professionals in Moscow because he could and because BBG members failed in their duty to provide oversight. It’s hard even to imagine that this inhumane treatment of talented, highly skilled, loyal and dedicated foreign journalists working for an American public media institution abroad could have happened during a Democratic administration, but it did and it ruined Radio Liberty and damaged America’s image in Russia. As a famous Russian human rights activist Lyudmila Alexeeva pointed out, even repugnant Russian capitalists treat their employees better than RFE/RL executives.

Foreign-born RFE/RL employees in the Czech Republic have been discriminated against for nearly 20 yours and denied basic employment rights.

The BBG has once again been rated in the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey as being among the worst-managed federal agencies.

Will President Obama’s victory give these managers more flexibility to mistreat their employees or will BBG members, particularly the Democrats, finally step in to put a stop to this shameful behavior?

“Generous,” “Compassionate,” and “Tolerant” are not the words that describe the leadership of the Broardcasting Board of Governors, its International Broadcasting Bureau and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

“These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty. We can never forget that as we speak people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today.” — President Barack Obama’s victory speech, November 6, 2012.

“We want to pass on a country that’s safe and respected and admired around the world, a nation that is defended by the strongest military on earth and the best troops this — this world has ever known. But also a country that moves with confidence beyond this time of war, to shape a peace that is built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being.” — President– President Barack Obama’s victory speech, November 6, 2012.

“We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America, open to the dreams of an immigrant’s daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag.” — President Barack Obama’s victory speech, November 6, 2012.