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Deleted Biden video hits Voice of America crisis



Footage that also includes a short rap. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) Shot, was cut from a stream of millions of Muslim voices at a virtual conference, Emgage Action, earlier this month, during which Biden presented a video. Emgage Action is a left-leaning 501c (4) group that has supported Biden and “seeks to mobilize American Muslims to speak out on issues that define who American Muslims are for what they stand for,” its website said.

One of those clips contained an audio recording of a voice interlocutor. Don’t make mistakes, people, 2020. It’s our year. Let’s dive into it with a 20/20 vision, ”says the narrator in the video. “We can clearly see that America is fighting for its own soul.”

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The debate over the fate of contractors goes hand in hand with a politically taxed review of taxpayer-funded media, including VOA. Stopping them would mean a less severe punishment, according to two people, originally envisaged by the new VOA leadership: immediate termination.

Bill Baum, a longtime VOA veteran and current interim acting director, told colleagues earlier this week that VOA wanted to terminate their contracts immediately because the story was reminiscent of a campaign announcement, unbalanced and violated VOA journalism standards.

However, following the advice of VOA’s parent organization, the U.S. Global Media Agency, the VOA recommended only suspending the work of four contractors, instead of dismissing them, they could quit. According to an internal discussion participant, contractors are likely to be given an opportunity to explain why they should not be fired.

In her statement, VOA spokeswoman Bridget Serchak said: “VOA management is conducting a comprehensive review of the circumstances surrounding this issue. Once all the facts on this issue have been gathered and properly assessed, corrective action will be taken. “

President Donald Trump and his allies have loudly complained about the tone of VOA coverage – including an unusual bombing in the White House newsletter. In the case of the Biden video, people outside the USAGM announced it as the new CEO, Michael Pack, and expressed concern about the content.

The video also captivated conservative journalist Sarah Carter, who wrote a story on Monday titled, “The American voice popularized an ad for a Muslim political campaign, then removed it.” She quoted House Freedom Caucus as rep. Calling Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), “Outraged that VOA… used his platform to campaign for Biden,” he called for an investigation.

Steve Bannon’s ally Pack fired the heads of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia and other divisions when he became CEO of a taxpayer-funded media group. He took criticism from members of both Congress parties. At that time, VOA manager Amanda Bennett resigned on the first day of work.

Documentary veteran Pack defended affairs to help reform the organization to make it more clearly in line with its original mission.

However, there are serious suspicions about the true motives of the Pack on USAGM and its supporters on Capitol Hill.

“Unfortunately, he’s trying to find one event and examples that can show that he’s improving the content,” one of the people said about Pack. (A USAGM official said that the VOA’s language services had long been “inspected for non-compliance with journalistic standards and principles” and had not complied with the VOA’s statutes.)

A review of Biden’s video prompted senior VOA officials to handle the matter closely. Yield bureau officials told colleagues that the Urdu video was supposed to correct Biden when he alluded to a “Muslim ban” saying that President Trump’s 2017 Immigration actions did not ban all Muslims from entering the United States, but only selected the majority of Muslims. , according to a person familiar with internal discussions. The video also had to point out that Trump’s campaign is focusing on Muslim voters and that some Muslim organizations are supporting Trump’s re-election, they said.

According to one person familiar with the exchange, senior USAGM officials demanded to know the names of all those involved in the story and asked to be interviewed.

On Tuesday, VOA interim director Elez Biberay held several meetings with Pack’s original office and asked deputy chief of staff Diane Cullo to provide the names and full translation of the journalists involved in the story, according to two people familiar with the issue. The VOA shared this information with the USAGM and promised to improve the editorial process to prevent this type of episode from recurring. Biberay also offered disciplinary action against other individuals involved.

There is little debate as to whether Urdu content violated VOA editorial standards, but the involvement of top USAGM officials has increased tensions.

“It seems that the CEO’s office is extremely interested in accessing the VOA from the other side of the firewall,” said a person familiar with the internal discussions. The source could not recall that the VOA had ever considered shooting people on the grounds that one story is unbalanced and without poor results.

“It seems to be so fast and unusual,” said the man, who called it a “witch hunt.”


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