Voice of America spends your money to speak for authoritarian regimes
Multiple Voice of America (VOA) reporters have repeatedly posted anti-Trump comments on their professional Twitter accounts, despite a social media policy requiring employee impartiality on social media platforms.
The federal agency funded by U.S. taxpayers to the tune of about $800 million is headed by Obama administration holdover CEO John F. Lansing and his team of VOA Director Amanda Bennett and VOA Deputy Director Sandy Sugawara.
Lansing got his job in 2015. Both Bennett and Sugawara were selected by Lansing in 2016. Lansing also brought on board Dr. Haroon Ullah in 2017 as his chief strategic advisor and a right-hand man. Ullah recently pled guilty to federal charges of fraud and stealing money from USAGM. Some of the men Ullah brought with him to the agency are now serving as Lansing’s key advisors.
Voice of America is a global news network funded by American taxpayers. It spends about hundreds of millions each year on its mission to “tell America’s story” and “present the policies of the United States clearly and effectively” to people around the globe.
Today, however, VOA too often speaks for America’s adversaries—not its citizens.
The Coronavirus pandemic is no exception. Secrecy from the Communist Party of China allowed the deadly virus to spread across the world.
Journalists should report the facts, but VOA has instead amplified Beijing’s propaganda. This week, VOA called China’s Wuhan lockdown a successful “model” copied by much of the world—and then tweeted out video of the Communist government’s celebratory light show marking the quarantine’s alleged end.
Even worse, while much of the U.S. media takes its lead from China, VOA went one step further: It created graphics with Communist government statistics to compare China’s Coronavirus death toll to America’s.
As intelligence experts point out, there is simply no way to verify the accuracy of China’s numbers.
The Coronavirus story is just one example of this pattern. Last year, VOA helped highlight the Twitter feed of Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif while he was issuing threats against the U.S. and sharing Russian anti-U.S. propaganda videos.
“VOA will represent America,” its guiding Charter reads. And for years after its founding during World War II, VOA served that mission by promoting freedom and democracy across the world for audiences who longed for both.
Today, VOA is promoting propaganda instead—and your tax dollars are paying for it.