September 08, 2006

Radio Free Propaganda

Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo has an interesting piece on the Bush admin's (and US government generally) culture of propaganda specfically that anti-Castro pablum was paid for with USA taxpayer money via the Office of Cuba Broadcasting.

The Cuba outfit is just one of the efforts under the authority of the Broadcasting Board of Governors which is the umbrella group for all the organizations, many private, which get federal dollars to promote “democracy” and “freedom of religion,” i.e., propaganda against the governments of select nations. It includes the VOA, Radio Free Asia, Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, Radio & TV Marti, and so on. Congress authorized almost a billion dollars for BBG this fiscal year (2007).

About a year ago the Chairman of the BBG, Kenneth Tomlinson, was accused of fraud in a State Dept. Inspector General's report for giving about $250,000 to a friend and former VOA employee for unknown services. Tomlinson remains the Chairman.

I’ve long suspected but have not found evidence (yet) that Radio Free Asia pays for phony news stories (more often than not unsubstantiated and third-hand) about "human rights" abuses in China.

The whole outfit is propaganda. The question to me is, is it really in our national interest? Imagine if the Chinese spent $36 million each year (the current level funding for “Radio Free Asia”) to broadcast an English language show highlighting every abuse by an American police force, every injustice done the American poor, every failing of local government? Maybe they should.

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