(White House Press Release, April 9, 2020: Originally Published in 1600 Daily)
Voice of America Spends Your Money to Speak for Authoritarian Regimes
Voice of America [VOA] is a global news network funded by American taxpayers. It spends about $200 million 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.
(1600 Daily is the White House Daily Summary of news, events, and updates.)