Biden Fires Steve Bannon Protege, Who Tried To Turn Voice Of America Into A New Breitbart

from the and-he-whines-about-partisanship-on-the-way-out dept

Last summer we covered how Trump had hired Michael Pack, a protégé of Steve Bannon, to run US Agency for Global Media. USAGM is the organization that runs Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, and Middle East Broadcasting. It also runs the Open Technology Fund (which itself spun out of Radio Free Europe, and helped to fund a variety of important technologies for enabling free speech among dissidents and activists). It was clear from the beginning that Pack's plan was to (a) recraft the media organizations to be propaganda machines and (b) shift OTF's funding to some organizations with security/encryption techniques that were not widely trusted. Pack fired a bunch of people in a move that a court later rejected, noting that Pack did not have the authority to do so.

He also began a witch hunt at Voice of America, seeking to investigate journalists for "anti-Trump bias" and get rid of them. A reporter who asked a perfectly reasonable question to Mike Pompeo was reassigned.

As we pointed out, this kind of meddling, beyond likely breaking the law, was also doing tremendous damage to the credibility of these organizations, and certainly to the important technical work that OTF funds.

So it was good to see that one of Biden's first moves upon getting into office was to demand Pack's resignation and also to shuffle the leadership at Voice of America.

In an act of true projection, on the way out the door Pack whined about how being fired was a partisan act and would harm credibility. This is all bullshit. From day one, Pack was a partisan hack who tried to turn Voice of America into a pro-Trump media organization.

Whether or not people like or appreciate the work that USAGM and its various organizations do, there is no doubt that Pack's efforts harmed those organizations' credibility. Good riddance.

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Filed Under: joe biden, michael pack, otf, partisanship, propaganda, steve bannon, usagm, voice of america
Companies: otf, usagm, voice of america

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jan 2021 @ 4:52pm


    Shame the judges are all lifetime appointments.

    Well, about that...

    The ABA’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary is generally cited as the judge of "qualified" or "unqualified". Some 10 or so Trump appointees were given the "not qualified" rating by the ABA. Notably, one of the candidates went from "not qualified" one year to "well qualified" the next. Huh. How about that?

    Some judges and lawyers have resigned from the ABA in protest of various thing, often involving the group turning towards politicking. Admittedly, this is nothing new.

    Partisan politics:
    IMO, whether a judge is a liberal or a conservative is of far less concern than whether they are an Originalist or Textualist or living constitutionalist.

    But true enough: A judge who votes on his ideology is not someone you want to be standing (or sitting) in front of in a courtroom. So when you say they care more about partisan politics than doing their job and turn your eyes to the judiciary, you might want to count the number of lawsuits the Trump team launched, that were shot down by Trump appointees. Example.

    So ... you can't always tell. Just because a judge decides against your team (whatever your team is), doesn't mean that he sides with the other team.

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