Frames that also contain a short rap frame. Rashid Tlibe (D-Mich.), Were cut off freely from a live broadcast of the virtual conference “Millions of Voices of Millions of Voices” Emgage Action earlier this month, about which Biden provided a video. Mage Action is a left-leaning 501c group (4) that has supported Biden and “seeks to mobilize American Muslims to defend the issues that determine who the American Muslims they stand for are,” according to the website.
One such clip included audio from a narrator who transmits a voice. “Make no mistake, people, 2020 is our year. Let̵7;s dive into it with a 20/20 vision, ”the narrator says in the video. “We can clearly see that America is fighting for its very soul.”
The debate over the fate of contractors is taking place against the backdrop of political repairs to taxpayer-funded media, including the VOA. Their termination will mean less severe punishment than what the new VOA leadership first considered, according to two people: immediate termination.
Bill Baum, a longtime VOA veteran and current senior adviser to the acting director, told colleagues earlier this week that VOA wanted to terminate contracts immediately because the story resembled an advertising campaign, was unbalanced and did not violate VOA journalism standards.
But after the general adviser to the parent organization of the VOA, the U.S. Global Media Agency, recommended that the VOA simply remove the four contractors rather than fire them, they could eventually keep their jobs. According to a person familiar with internal discussions, contractors will be given the opportunity to explain why they should not be fired.
In a statement, VOA spokeswoman Bridget Serczak said: “VOA management is conducting a full review of the circumstances surrounding the case. Once all the facts of the case have been collected and carefully assessed, corrective action will be taken. “
President Donald Trump and his allies have loudly complained about the tone of the VOA’s coverage – including an unusual explosion in a White House bulletin. As for Biden’s video, people outside USAGM noted this to the new CEO, Michael Pak, and expressed concern about the content, the person said.
The video also caught the attention of conservative journalist Sarah Carter, who wrote the story on Monday with the headline: “The Voice of America promoted the proposed Muslim political campaign and then removed it.” She quoted Parliamentary Freedom Committee Chairman Andy Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) As “outrageous that the VOA used its platform to campaign for Biden” and called for an investigation.
Puck, an ally of Steve Bannon, fired the heads of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia and other offices when he took over as CEO of a taxpayer-funded media group, which drew criticism from members of both parties in Congress. Amanda Bennett, head of the VOA at the time, resigned on her first day on the job.
Veteran documentary filmmaker Pak defended the tremors as needed to help him reform the organization to better align with its original mission.
But there are deep suspicions about Pak’s true motives at USAGM and among his supporters on Capitol Hill.
“Unfortunately, he’s trying to find one incident, and examples can show that he’s improving the content,” Pak said. (A USAGM official stated that VOA language services have long been “checked for non-compliance with journalistic standards and principles” and non-compliance with VOA statutes.)
A review of Biden’s video drew top VOA officials to address the issue. Officials at the branch’s front office told colleagues that the Urdu video was supposed to correct Biden when he referred to the “Muslim ban”, saying that President Trump’s immigration campaign in 2017 did not ban all Muslims from entering the United States, but only selected countries from most Muslims. , according to a person familiar with internal discussions. The video should also indicate that Trump’s campaign is investigating Muslim voters and that some Muslim organizations support Trump’s re-election, they said.
USAGM senior officials demanded the names of all those involved in the story and asked to be interviewed, according to a person familiar with the exchanges.
On Tuesday, VOA Acting Director Elez Bieberj held multiple meetings with Pak’s front office and was asked by Deputy Chief of Staff Dianna Callo about the names of journalists involved in telling the story and fully translating the piece, according to two people familiar with the case. The VOA shared this information with USAGM and promised to improve the editorial process to prevent a recurrence of this type of episode. Bieberage also proposed disciplinary action against others involved.
There is little controversy that the content of Urdu violated VOA editorial standards, but the involvement of USAGM senior officials has increased tensions.
“It looks like the CEO’s office is extremely interested in moving the VOA to the other side of the firewall,” said a person familiar with internal discussions. The source could not recall the VOA if it considered the dismissal of people based on the imbalance of one story, and did not have successful results.
“It seems so fast and so unusual,” said the man, who called it a “witch hunt.”