Tom Coburn, MD, keeps James Glassman in the waiting room.

Posted: 14 Apr 2008   Print   Send a link
Senator Tom Coburn, MD, has put a hold on the confirmation of James Glassman to succeed Karen Hughes as under secretary of State for public diplomacy. "Mr. Coburn has sought for years to obtain English transcripts of Farsi-language U.S. government broadcasts from the ... Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). Mr. Glassman is BBG chairman. In his requests, the senator has cited reports of mismanagement of VOA's Persian service that has allowed anti-American content to creep into broadcasts. He also has expressed concerns that the service gives too much time to guests with pro-Iranian views. 'VOA has not been aggressive enough in promoting values of individual liberty and freedom in its Persian broadcasts,' said an aide to Mr. Coburn, who declined to give his name. The senator's office did not provide specific examples of anti-American or pro-Iranian language used in broadcasts. ... The BBG has released about 140 hours of Persian service transcripts on its Web site, but Mr. Coburn has asked for thousands of hours, officials said. The National Virtual Translation Center (NVTC) transcribes the scripts and charges up to $3,300 for an hour of air time, a VOA source said, adding that using cheaper services has resulted in 'mistranslations.' Congressional officials said the Senate approved some funds for transcribing purposes in a 'pilot project' last year, but they are not nearly enough to satisfy Mr. Coburn's request." Washington Times, 7 April 2008. See Kim's commentary.
     "This is while VOA is widely seen in Iran as a heavily biased propaganda machine in favor of the US." Press TV, 7 April 2008. See previous post about same subject.
     "In the US, the integration of journalism and PR is further advanced, and a recent trend has been labelled 'journo-lobbying'. Tech Central Station, a Washington-based project pioneered by the journalist James Glassman, is a cross between a website and a magazine that acts like a lobbying company. The DCI Group, a prominent Washington lobbying firm, not only publishes the site, it shares most of the same owners, staff and offices." David Miller and William Dinan, The Independent, 14 April 2008.