Voice of America (VOA) is the official external broadcast institution of the United States federal government. It is one of five civilian U.S. international broadcasters working under the umbrella of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). VOA provides a wide range of programming for broadcast on radio and TV and the Internet outside of the U.S. in 44 languages.
VOA produces about 1,500 hours of news and feature programming each week for an estimated global audience of 123 million people,”to promote freedom and democracy and to enhance understanding through multimedia communication of accurate, objective, and balanced news, information and other programming about America and the world to audiences overseas”.
So where was the “objective and balance” when it came to Bahrain? Is it as objective and balanced as we think it is?
A 1976 law signed by President Gerald Ford requires VOA to “serve as a consistently reliable and authoritative source of news.”
The VOA Charter states: “VOA news will be accurate, objective and comprehensive”.
Where was the term comprehensive when it came to providing an accurate reliable and authoritative news source on Bahrain? Not available.
VOA managed to set up a bias page in favor of anti-government opposition placing photos and videos, comments from mainly incidents relating to police firing at protesters, referring to the protests as “peaceful”….
A one sided version of VOA’s “truth”
So while we all tapped away in March/April of 2011 and started writing in with our side of the events on face book.. nothing actually appeared. As you can see above nothing shows.
There is no color code for terrorism acts, death threats, expats tortured and killed, obstruction to public property, blocking roads and mainly blocking the main highway leading to the financial district which lead to a police response.
So why ask us to write in?
And just look at this.. there is a colour code for police killed but…. look clearly at the Blue square… “Soldier/Police killed by civilian” “zero”
An American friend recently contacted me: “It is so sad Bahrainis reaching out to media like VOA and NO ONE LISTENS, they need to be careful, here’s a Lead, NIAC and VOA work together for IRAN. You can see how Iran has monitored the Internet… You need to be careful in general but stay out of Facebook.”
NIAC works very closely with VOA..
If you click on the NIAC link it refers to MEK= Terror
Why, does the NIAC refer to MEK as terror?
Because it is an organization that advocates the overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Iran something the NIAC does NOT agree with. Read on to know more…
Now, when we turn to VOA covering Iran we have a different story:
The Voice of America has become Voice of Tehran….
Fresh from declaring NASA’s mission to be outreach towards and glorification of Islam, comes news that the Voice of America-long a beacon of hope to oppressed people around the world-has become a big mouthpiece for the mullahs via with the administration’s “help.”
Voice of America’s mission is to promote U.S. interests abroad, which includes freedom in Iran. But VOA’s Persian newscast has been hijacked by pro-Tehran broadcasters.
The Obama administration’s sole strategy for defanging the Ahmadinejad regime is talk and more talk. Only, the propaganda that VOA is piping into Iran is helping the regime – thanks to deep-seated bias in favor of Tehran by Persian editors and producers whose salaries are paid by American taxpayers.
They’ve banned stories that cast the regime in a negative light, such as last year’s violent postelection crackdown on protesters in
Tehran. They even refused for several days to air video footage of Neda Agha-Soltan, the young Iranian woman whose murder became an international cause.
More, VOA has retaliated against broadcasters who’ve complained it’s too soft on the Iranian regime. One popular Persian-speaking
broadcaster lost her anchoring job, having been demoted by a managing editor who happens to be the son of one of the Iranian mullahs.
Elham Sataki, former Washington-based anchor of VOA’s “Straight Talk,” says she was a victim of an effort to silence her
pro-American, pro-democratic-reform views. She’s now suing her boss – Ali Sajjadi, executive managing editor of VOA’s Persian News Network – and other VOA defendants for millions.
On VOA/PNN’s show “Static,” Sajjadi admitted his father is an Iranian mullah. And in response to a question from a viewer, he trashed the Iranian opposition movement by saying that it was not his job to support the opposition.
Sajjadi added it doesn’t need support since it gets “a lot of grants these days” – grants being regime code word for CIA money.
Recent reporting flaws have prompted calls from Congress for an investigation of VOA’s Persian desk. “We implore you to investigate the anti-American rhetoric reported to be coming from Voice of America – Persian,” Rep. Trent Franks earlier this year wrote President Obama. The letter was signed by 68 other lawmakers.
“Seems like an administration that tramples our Constitution, violates creditor rights, issues executive orders to do end runs around legislation, bullies past any sort of opposition, can snap its fingers and repair the Voice of America so it broadcasts the truth and no Persian propaganda, mullah-style.”
That won’t happen because the Obama administration seems to like the Voice of America’s new direction-even more towards the dark side.
Not so coincidentally, the station has given valuable airtime to Trita Parsi, the head of the de facto Iranian lobby in America (the National Iranian American Council, or NIAC) and a man entangled in efforts to increase Iranian influence in Washington-and reportedly doing so while skirting federal laws. A person who served on his group’s advisory board, John Limbert, now occupies the Iran chair at the State Department — after Dennis Ross “left” (or was forced out through machinations of the NIAC). The Washington Times reports:
On April 1, VOA gave airtime to Trita Parsi, head of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), which has received millions of dollars in federal funds to promote democracy in Iran. Mr. Parsi expressed various odd positions, such as that Israel prefers to have hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in power in Tehran, that members of the Obama administration know sanctions won’t work but pursue them only as a bargaining position, and – most strangely – that even if Iran succeeded in establishing a democracy, the United States would nevertheless keep sanctions in place. VOA gave Mr. Parsi preferential treatment by banning callers while he was on the air even though he appeared on a call-in show; those who later took issue with his views were quickly cut off.
Mr. Parsi was the subject of an investigation by the Senate federal financial management subcommittee, which revealed that most of the federal funds received by NIAC were not used for their intended purpose and that he was working with a regime-controlled front posing as an Iranian nongovernmental organization. These and other developments have generated buzz in the pro-democracy Iranian blogosphere that VOA has become a pro-mullah outlet.
But it gets worse, and the administration has its fingerprints all over this scandal.
Apparently, Tehran is jamming signals of the Voice of America-perhaps even the pro-mullah broadcasts aren’t subservient enough. The VOA wrote a note of protest over the jamming but Obama’s National Security Council intervened to block that expression of displeasure (so it is fine for Tehran to jam American broadcasts designed-at least theoretically, if not in practice-to help support pro-democracy reformers in Iran) and, failing in that quest, worked to water down that protest.
At least three Republican Senators have a problem with that type of jamming and interference. The Washington Times continues:
Republican Sens. Jon Kyl of Arizona, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Sam Brownback of Kansas sent a letter to Broadcasting Board of Governors Executive Director Jeffrey N. Trimble on March 9 noting that such White House intervention constitutes “serious violations of U.S. law, policy and tradition related to the editorial independence of the taxpayer-funded” board of governors.
The White House intervening on behalf of the mullahs; whoever would have thought that would occur?
Another point on VOA and the controversy goes further. One of their producers of Parazit at VOA, Saman Arbabi says:
“We don’t want Regime change in Iran” https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=2513533754767
Oct. 10, 2011: Friday Night Massacre at VOA.
The Voice of America’s Persian service has eliminated four top broadcasters known for their anti-regime positions, in what appears to have been a Friday Night Massacre orchestrated by NIAC protegé Ramin Asgard, now the director of VOA Persian.
When he was still at the U.S. consulate in Dubai, Asgard worked closely with NIAC founder Trita Parsi, offering to allow Parsi to “handpick Iranian-Americans to staff the State Department’s primary field office on Iran,” according to a former aide (http://blog.american.com/2011/02/americas-voice-may-need-more-speech-therapy/) to Sen. Tom Coburn (R, OK). The broadcasters fired included Jamshid Chaharlangi, Ahmad Batebi, Kianoush Sanjari, and Kourosh Seyhati.
FDI sources say that Asgard is hoping to fire more anti-regime journalists, while adding to the five young NIAC members recently brought on board from southern California, to complete the VOA’s transformation into the Voice of the Mullahs. A recent evaluation of VOA broadcasting that appears to have given support to Asgard’s makeover was authored by Hooman Majd, an Iranian-American “scholar” who has worked as Ahmadinejad’s”voice” during his visits to New York.
Iranian regime intelligence planted a story with Press TV several months ago alleging a sexual harassment investigation against Chaharlangi, when in fact no such investigation was under way nor allegations made. Press TV is widely believed to be controlled by Iran’s ministry of information and security, MOIS.
The following is part of a letter that Reza Khalili had written about Voice of America:
RE: VOICE OF AMERICA PROBE
Dear Sir or Madam:
My name is Reza Kahlili. I am a former CIA agent who worked inside the Revolutionary Guards of Iran.
I was invited by Voice of America’s Persian News Network to do an interview on Thursday, April 15. The interview lasted 45 minutes and consisted of a line of questioning designed more to condemn me and America’s interference in Iran’s internal affairs than anything else. During the interview, I remained steadfast in my opinion that the Islamic regime was unjust, and I recounted many of their crimes. I also revealed some of their secrets. I went to a great deal of trouble to appear at their studio in Los Angeles, covering part of my face with a mask and hiring a bodyguard.
To date, they have not aired any part of that interview and have refused to respond to my numerous requests as to whether they ever intend to air the interview.
I believe some at Voice of America might have had a different agenda than just interviewing me.
I am writing this letter after learning about a probe into Voice of America’s refusal to air any material that is considered unfriendly to the regime in Tehran. I have appeared on Fox, MSNBC, and many other media outlets in America stating my concerns over the current Iranian regime and what needs to be done. I have revealed some of their secrets and their activities on their nuclear bomb project.
I am very concerned that Voice of America, a U.S.-funded organization, has so far refused to air my views. They requested the interview!
The ongoing probe into Voice of America should include this inquiry. The U.S.-funded Voice of America should not be used as a propaganda tool of the Iranian regime. The people of Iran deserve to know the truth.
The people of Bahrain deserve to know the truth too and they deserve to have both accounts published on their website wall, not a bias generated opinion that covers one side of the “fake revolution” in Bahrain.
Next time a VOA reporter asks you to comment on Facebook, ask them WHY? And ask them WHERE they will publish (if at all)what you send in as you can see above, nothing is there… And then ask the “WHY” facebook??
Why write in? Are they a trusted source to be providing information to? What we send via twitter, videos, accounts, long tweets can be copy pasted by VOA and placed on their facebook if they wanted to…. why should we post the same thing via facebook?
To verify our IP? To verify that we are writing in from Bahrain? Or to verify who we are and where we are?
We should ask what their relationship is with the NIAC? Where do they stand on hiring Iran Regime supporters as Producers?
And where do they really stand on Bahrain?