90 Miles From Tyranny : U.S. Government Media Network Extols “Press Freedom” After Firing Journalists Over Soros Report

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

U.S. Government Media Network Extols “Press Freedom” After Firing Journalists Over Soros Report

It’s ironic that, just weeks after firing journalists behind a broadcast critical of leftwing billionaire George Soros, the head of the U.S. government’s international media networks is proclaiming his support for “press freedom.” U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) Chief John F. Lansing, an Obama appointee, issued a heartfelt statement a few days ago reaffirming his “commitment to the fundamental principles of press freedom.” In the document, titled “Fighting for press freedom, today and everyday,” Lansing assures the world that his agency “will continue to report the truth,” though it recently cost USAGM journalists their jobs. The occasion was World Press Freedom Day, celebrated on May 3, and Lansing expresses deep concern that his taxpayer-funded agency “continues to witness firsthand how a free and independent media is deteriorating worldwide.”

Posted on the agency’s website and disbursed worldwide, the document goes on to say “despite some very dark moments, we have not been silenced. We will continue to report the truth. We will continue to find new ways to get independent reporting and programming to global audiences who rely on it. And we will continue to carry through our mission to inform, engage, and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy. Today, and every day, I am proud to be part of this organization, and call these brave men and women colleagues, as we stand together for press freedom.”

Lansing conveniently omits that he recently utilized Stalinist techniques to retaliate against USAGM journalists and producers involved in the Soros piece. The Spanish-language segment aired in May 2018 on Television Martí and was available for months online until it caught the eye of a scandal-plagued senator tried for bribery and corruption. Eight reporters and editors at the publicly funded media outlet were terminated and, at the request of the disgraced senator, New Jersey Democrat Bob Menendez, Lansing ordered a review of all content to address “patterns of unethical, unprofessional, biased, or sub-standard journalism.” An employee at the Miami, Florida-based Martí headquarters said in a local newspaper report “the environment that has been created by the upper hierarchy of the Agency for Global Media is repressive. People write with fear. Adjectives are no longer used.”


Television Martí—and its radio counterpart—operate under the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB) and comprise one of the USAGM’s five international multimedia networks. The others are Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Radio Free Asia and Middle East Broadcasting. The media outlets get about $685 million a year from American taxpayers and reportedly reach 345 million people worldwide in 59 languages. The global media agency was created to counter disinformation spread by oppressive regimes abroad. The USAGM website states that its mission is “to inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy.” Television and Radio Martí were created to promote freedom and democracy by providing the people of Cuba with objective news and information programming.
The Soros broadcast focused on his efforts to cripple sovereign governments in Latin America. Judicial Watch was cited as a source because it investigated State Department funding of Soros groups in Colombia and published a report on Soros’ initiatives to advance a radical globalist agenda in Guatemala. Judicial Watch also released a special report documenting the financial and staffing nexus between Soros’ Open Society Foundations (OSF) and the U.S. government. In that document, Judicial Watch connects the dots between U.S.-funded entities and OSF affiliates to further the Hungarian-born philanthropist’s agenda seeking to destabilize legitimate governments, erase national borders, target conservative politicians, finance civil unrest, subvert institutions of higher education, and orchestrate refugee crises for...




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