Before I wrote America Abandoned, I mapped out a book that would discuss how we, the people have been utterly abandoned by our media. I still plan to write that book, but in the meantime, there are more important things to discuss.
As their website explains, the Voice of America (VOA) “began broadcasting in 1941 to combat Nazi propaganda with accurate and unbiased news and information. Ever since then, the VOA has served the world with a consistent message of truth, hope, and inspiration.”
Until 2013, we couldn’t hear this programming, but it can now be heard here, in the U.S., as well as about 150 other countries. VOA boasts an impressive listenership of 237,000 million weekly. In addition, it is a lifeline for our military serving overseas, a medium by which they can hear unbiased news from all around this country.
Initially, VOA was funded by the U.S. Congress, with the honest intention to share America with the world, with no political strings attached. Sadly, we must now wonder if this link to our country for our troops abroad and others world-wide has changed?
In the past, the VOA was governed by a board of directors of equal political representation. It was never meant to be in control of any President, for the obvious reason that it could then become a partisan voice to the world. A partisan message of any sort, branding, as many know it today, was not the original intention or motivation of Voice of America; rather, it was created to combat that very issue.
Buried on Page 1,404 of the National Defense Authorization Act passed during the week of December 5 to 9, 2016, there exists a provision to disband the bipartisan board of directors and instead hand over control of this radio network to a powerful CEO appointed by the President of the United States.
So, a new question springs up: Did the Republicans just hand over to Steve Bannon and Breitbart News a global/U.S. radio network and the ability for the President’s team and administration to propagate biased right-wing news, sharing only the information they decide should be known to us and the world? Is that why Steve Bannon was selected as a high-powered special advisory? If so, is this really the “Voice of America,” or just the voice of the chosen few?