Another day, another weird development in Trump world. Come along as we play connect-the-dots. Less than ninety days ago, there was a major shake up at the Voice of America when Michael Pack, one of Steve Bannon’s filmmaking buddies, took over as head of the Agency for Global Media after he was rubber stamped by the Senate. It was thought […]
This is very grim. I hope that this story gets a lot of media attention, because this is a gigantic step into the darkness of Trump-generated conspiracy theory and right wing nuttiness and away from credible independent journalism. Trump has achieved a minor coup at the taxpayer-funded agency that supervises the Voice of America. Huffington Post is reporting Michael Pack, a conservative filmmaker and friend of former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, is taking over as head of the Agency for Global Media after the Senate finally succumbed to White House pressure to confirm him. The Voice of America’s top two editors ― both veteran journalists appointed during the Obama administration ― resigned on Monday, citing Pack’s arrival. “As the Senate-confirmed CEO, he has the right to replace us with his own VOA leadership,” VOA director Amanda Bennett and deputy Sandy Sugawara wrote to staff on Monday. The turmoil follows a major confrontation involving the blacklisting of the VOA by a public relations manager at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under pressure from the White House. The Trump administration accused the VOA of pushing Chinese “propaganda” about the coronavirus pandemic in a bizarre statement that claimed that “much of the U.S. media takes its lead from China.” This is pure Trump inspired madness. And it gets worse. Sebastian Gorka is now slated to come on board as well. Amanda Bennett, the former VOA director, is a Pulitizer Prize winning investigative journalist. Pack and Gorka are both on the right-wing conspiracy theory end of the scale, by contrast. Voice of America journalists legitimately fear that Pack and Gorka “will interfere with the organization’s independent newsroom and turn it into a pro-Trump messaging machine,” in the words of CNN Business. Monday’s resignations renewed concerns that Pack, an ally of former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, will attempt to clean house at VOA, which is part of the US Agency for Global Media, USAGM for short. – A well-placed VOA employee said there are internal discussions about a sizable shakeup coming to the agency that may include former White House official and conservative radio host Sebastian Gorka taking on a leadership position. Given Gorka’s partisan background, such an appointment would send a major message about VOA shifting to become a mouthpiece for the administration. The Voice of America is highly regarded and highly trusted around the world. It doesn’t need to become the voice of Donald Trump. This is an appalling development. I cannot overstate how upset I am by this.
Steve Bannon is no longer in the White House but he is still clearly influencing Donald Trump. CNN is reporting that Donald Trump intends to nominate one of Steve Bannon’s buddies, a conservative filmmaker, to take over U.S. media agencies and...
Liked it? Take a second to support Community last on Patreon!
Sometimes people in Washington get it plain wrong!
If conservatives support police killing citizens without justification, climate denial, fact denial, science denial, racist and misogynistic behavior, or a litany of other absurd points of view about numerous important issues, we call them out.