More about VOA, BBG, NSC, the firewall, and calling Iran's jamming "jamming."

Posted: 10 Apr 2010   Print   Send a link
"The Voice of America has swept aside criticism from Republican senators and members of Congress who asked the radio station to respond to charges that it has toned down its criticism of Iranian censorship on White House orders. Sens. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, wrote to the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees all U.S. taxpayer-funded broadcasting, asking for comment on the reported 'intervention by the National Security Council to discourage, and then tone down,' a VOA statement condemning the jamming of international broadcasts by the government of Iran. ... Congress created the 'firewall' between VOA journalists and U.S. government policymakers 'to protect the integrity and credibility of the Agency’s journalistic product,' the BBG wrote. However, 'We do not believe that the Congress intended to give the BBG (or VOA) the ability to issue statements in its federal capacity that might conflict with or infringe on the foreign policy prerogatives of the President or of other Executive Branch agencies that have primary policy duties in this area. 'Accordingly, the BBG appropriately consulted with the National Security Council and the State Department concerning the content of the proposed joint statement,' the BBG wrote." Ken Timmerman,, 8 April 2010. VOA reported about Iran's satellite jamming, calling it "jamming," back on 30 December 2009. VOA didn't need White House approval for that news report. It's uncertain if Mr. Timmerman is for or against the firewall, because he chides VOA for having "welcomed onto air pro-Tehran advocates Trita Parsi and Houshang Amirahmadi, who run lobbying organizations that oppose any form of economic sanctions on Iran." See previous post about same subject.