USAGM Watch Comentary
West Wing Reads page on the WhiteHouse.gov official White House website has a link to an op-ed article in the New York Post in which Brian Hook, the U.S. Special Representative for Iran, Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Director of the Policy Planning Staff, comments on the Voice of America (VOA) programs to Iran managed by the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM).
The White House has been pushing for the confirmation by the U.S. Senate of Michael Pack to be USAGM CEO. Current VOA Director Amanda Bennett, under whose tenure the organization has seen a number of major management and programming scandals, was appointed to her position during the Obama Administration.
A description for the West Wing Reads page says “Read what the White House is reading: Get daily articles and analysis recommended by leaders in the Trump Administration.”
“As the US special representative for Iran, I receive complaints regularly about Voice of America’s Persian service. Iranian viewers say its American taxpayer-funded programming often sounds more like the ‘Voice of the mullahs’ than the ‘Voice of America,’” US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook writes in the New York Post.
“This is a priority for the Trump administration, because supporting the Iranian people includes giving them access to independent and truthful reporting.”
Why are US taxpayers funding a ‘Voice of the Mullahs’ in Iran? Brian Hook, New York Post, May 27, 2020
Iranian-Americans, including Iran scholars, are supportive of calls for reforming the Voice of America.