President Trump Keeps Draining the Swamp – It’s Complicated

June 22, 2020


The confirmation of Michael Pack resulted in the resignation of entrenched Chinese Communist Party advocate Libby Liu and others. 

The United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM) operates diverse state-run media including Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio y Television Marti, Radio Free Asia, Alhurra and more, with a $800 million annual budget. (1)

President Trump nominated Michael Pack as Chief Executive Officer of USAGM. After a two-year contentious battle, Pack was confirmed by the Senate along strict party lines two weeks ago.

Pack is known for conservative-leaning documentaries, such as the film about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Pack’s career achievements include: Co-Chair of International TV Council of Public Broadcasting; President Bush nominated him to serve on the National Council of the Humanities; Senior VP Television Programing for Public Broadcasting; and President/CEO of the Claremont Institute in Upland California.

During contentious Senate hearings, Attorney General of The District of Columbia began an investigation into Mr. Pack; asserting he illegally enriched himself by sending $1.6 million from the Public Media Lab, a nonprofit he oversees, to his production film company. Democrats attempted to suspend the hearings until the criminal investigation was complete. Senator Jim Risch of Idaho, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, pushed the confirmation.

President Trump has been a forthright critic of Voice of America: “Journalists should report the facts, but VOA has instead amplified Beijing’s propaganda. VOA called China’s Wuhan lockdown a successful model copied by much of the world – and then tweeted a video of the Communist government’s celebratory light-show marking the quarantine’s alleged end.”

New York Democrat Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Eliot Engel, issued a statement claiming that VOA had been a target of the President because it maintains editorial independence from the White House. 

Political Strategist Steve Bannon, former Executive Chairman of Breitbart News, and former aide to President Trump, said: “VOA is a rotten fish from top to bottom.”

CNN bemoans that Sebastian Gorka, a British-born Hungarian-American military and intelligence analyst, radio talk-show host and former Donald Trump aide, may emerge as a candidate for a leadership role in USAGM. 

VOA Director Amanda Bennett and Deputy Director Sandy Sugawara, President Obama appointees, resigned as a result of Michael Pack’s confirmation.

David Horowitz, founder of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, an American conservative writer, and author of dozens of best-selling books, denounced Libby Liu, CEO of Open Technology Fund. David said that Ms. Liu helped the Chinese Communist Party’s internet censorship policies, and that she oversaw acute news coverage of the Communist Party during her 14 years as President of Radio Free Asia. Ms. Liu resigned, due to the confirmation of Pack.  

Draining the swamp is convoluted. Soon after President Trump took office, the National Defense Authorization Act passed. NDAA made essential changes to USAGM. The Board was transformed from bi-partisan political supervision to an advisory role with a CEO, who was Obama holdover John Lansing. President Trump nominated Michael Pack as CEO of USAGM. Senate leftists brawled and the AG of Washington DC got involved with allegations of financial wrongdoings and a criminal investigation to stall the confirmation.

Michael Pack was eventually confirmed. Swamp creatures are resigning. The United States Agency of Global Media is no longer a propaganda machine for antagonistic governments like Communist China.


NOTES

1. Voice of America is a multimedia broadcast agency with digital, TV, and radio; distributed around the world in 47 languages. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty broadcasts to countries in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East.  Radio y Televisión Martí is a radio and television broadcast, located in Miami; transmitting in Spanish to Cuba.   Radio Free Asia broadcasts in nine languages in China, North Korea, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Myanmar (Burma).  Alhurra is a U.S. based public Arabic-language satellite TV channel that broadcasts to audiences in 22 countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

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gordeve
Thank you for the insight into an organization and individuals that we knew little about.
Bette Yee
RE: NOTES -- I've always thought VOA and the other broadcasters listed were fronts for the CIA.
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Darlene Casella was before retirement an English teacher, a stockbroker, and president/owner of a small corporation.  She lives in La Quinta, California and can be reached at darlenecasella@msn.com