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Biden Admin Fires Heads Of U.S.-Funded International Broadcasters Over Alleged Trump Support
By Joseph Curl, Daily Wire, January 28, 2021;
US President Joe Biden speaks about the Covid-19 response before signing executive orders for economic relief to Covid-hit families and businesses in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on January 22, 2021. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP) (Photo by
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images
President Joe Biden’s administration continues to purge all remnants of President Donald Trump, abruptly firing the former president’s allies at three federally funded international broadcasters, including the Voice of America (VOA).
The acting chief of the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) also fired the directors of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks just a month after they were named to the positions, two officials told The Associated Press.
“The changes came a day after the director of the Voice of America and his deputy were removed and the chief of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting stepped down. The firings follow the forced resignation of former President Donald Trump’s hand-picked choice to lead USAGM only two hours after Joe Biden took office on Wednesday,” wrote the AP.
Democrats have accused Trump’s USAGM chief Michael Pack of trying to turn VOA and its related networks into pro-Trump propaganda outlets. In December, Pack appointed all of those who were fired.
The two officials told the AP that acting CEO of USAGM, Kelu Chao, had fired Middle East Broadcasting Network director Victoria Coates, Radio Free Asia chief Stephen Yates and Radio Free Europe head Ted Lipien on Friday. The Biden White House has appointed Chao, a three-decade VOA veteran journalist, to be the agency´s interim chief executive.
Coates, Yates and Lipien, along with former VOA director Robert Reilly and former Cuba broadcasting chief Jeffrey Shapiro, were considered prominent conservatives whom Pack chose to change what Trump and other Republicans believed was bias in the taxpayer-funded media outlets. Reilly, who was replaced by VOA veteran journalist Yolanda Lopez, had recently “demoted a White House correspondent under Lopez’s supervision after she tried to ask then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a question during a VOA event,” the AP reported.
“Pack had created a furor when he took over USAGM last year and fired the boards of all the outlets under his control along with the leadership of the individual broadcast networks. The actions were criticized as threatening the broadcasters’ prized editorial independence and raised fears that Pack, a conservative filmmaker and former associate of Trump’s onetime political strategist Steve Bannon, intended to turn venerable U.S. media outlets into pro-Trump propaganda machines,” said the wire service.
Biden has moved quickly to wipe away Trump’s actions via executive orders. Biden’s first three orders recommitted the U.S. to the Paris Climate Accord, promoted “racial equity” in health care and required that anti-COVID-19 masks be worn in federal buildings. He also signed orders ending Trump’s 2017 travel ban on a group of predominately Muslim countries including Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, halting construction of Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall, rejoining the World Health Organization, extending a pandemic ban on evictions and foreclosures, suspending student loan payments, reversing Trump environmental deregulation and affirming the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that protects from deportation people brought illegally to the U.S. as children.
Biden also signaled that he’ll go left, signing an executive order letting transgender women compete in women’s sports. “Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports,” the order says.
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