Good Gawd. I’ve had limited experience with VOA but I’ve always respected their work. First, when did “Freedom of the Press” stop being the “U.S. Line”? Second, f*ck me how effective do you think VOA is going to be overseas if it becomes an obvious propaganda mouthpiece. People in other countries actually have to credit what you’re saying for you to disseminate the information. That’s how influence works. Otherwise you might as well call VOA the “Pennsylvania Avenue Pravda” or “Uncle Sam Spam”.
Pity the bastard appointed to now ensure that the VOA provides a “clear and effective presentation of the policies of the United States”, as if anyone in Congress passing this bill could even explain American policy to a snapping turtle.
In my experience, folks in countries where there is restricted freedom of press/speech will tell you how much they admire the trash Americans can talk and publish about their leadership. Clip VOA’s balls for having an “anti-American bias” (as the Heritage Foundation alleges) and you can kiss some of that effectiveness goodbye.
Yes, what the politically-compromised State Dept/USAID needs is *less* diversity of voices. Let’s neuter another American press institution – wouldn’t want pesky journalistic integrity getting in the way of messaging.
Congress, if you want to make VOA more effective, let them be critical of the USA, and give them some *real* constructive accomplishments of U.S. foreign policy overseas. You know, like fixing the bullsh*t way we do economic development so that people have an economic base upon which to draw so that they can push for a more accountable government and more freedoms, like freedom of the press.