Simanaitis Says

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FOR ALMOST 78 years now, the Voice of America has showcased American values around the world by broadcasting a valuable commodity: truth. These days, however, Trumpian strategies could corrupt its reputation.

Trump “Truth.” Truth appears to depend on Trump’s strategic thoughts of the moment, haphazard though they may appear.

Image from

With regard to Covid-19, for example, at first Trump downplayed the epidemic in the interest of the stock market. With his administration’s lack of leadership, the U.S. has become a Covid-19 epicenter, now having about 20 percent of the world’s known cases with 4.3 percent of its population.

In a shift of Trump Truth, a more recent strategy has been to demonize China as the instigator of “Kung Flu,” as Trump called it at his recent Tulsa rally.

Trump’s Tulsa rally venue was less than one-third full. Image from France 24.

The rally, NBC News said, was less than successful. On the other hand, Fox News Media reported, “Trump was ‘energized’ and not angry about empty Tulsa rally, says Kayleigh McEnany.”

Packing the VOA. Earlier this year, Trump named Michael Pack to lead VOA’s overseer, the U.S. Agency for Global Media.

Michael Pack, New York City-born 1954, American conservative filmmaker.

As reported by, June 17, 2020, Pack is “a conservative filmmaker who’s worked closely with Steve Bannon [of Breitbart fame] and is reportedly under investigation by the D.C. Attorney General for alleged self-dealing….”

“Hours after sending his first message to staff seeking to reassure them, Pack fired the head of RFA [Radio Free Asia] and RFE/RL [Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] Wednesday night, with the Middle East Broadcasting Network’s chief’s termination expected soon. Their ouster comes two days after the VOA’s two top executives resigned, as the outlet faces unfounded charges from the White House and a reported blacklisting by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

ABC News continues, “Critics worry that Pack will alter the content of the VOA and its affiliates to promote the Trump administration in violation of their charter, which says they will remain editorially independent from the U.S. government, which provides its funding.”

An Opinion from The New York Times. On June 16, 2020, the Editorial Board of The New York Times wrote, “New Boss May Test Voice of America’s Credibility.”

The Editorial Board observed, “… the Voice of America was never meant to be a megaphone for the American government. The concept was the opposite: A federally funded broadcaster would showcase American values around the world by offering unbiased news and a true picture of American life. That mission is enshrined in what the VOA calls its ‘firewall,’ which ‘prohibits interference by any U.S. government official in the objective, independent reporting of news.’ ”

“Mr. Trump wants a bullhorn, not a diplomatic instrument,” the Times Editorial Board wrote, “and he insists on loyalty. The specter of turning VOA into a propaganda tool of the White House should be frightening to all Americans, regardless of political leanings.”

I agree: We must guard against this potential Trumpian travesty. In the past I haven’t followed VOA regularly, but I certainly do now, and I suggest you do the same. Let’s help VOA maintain its world cred. ds

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2020


  1. kzhw
    June 24, 2020

    Trump is going through something like the first earthquake I experienced in Japan, though with a far more unstable dummy approach (to use his own dismissive verbal assaults against him). The ground is shifting beneath him and there is nothing he can do about it. Well, he thinks (if his mental apparatus can be classified as thinking instead of emoting or raging?) he can. Slow down the testing and Covid goes away. Logic 101: does testing give you Covid and put you in the hospital? What is 19? The year the virus appeared dummy. Trump is the last president of the Confederacy. Itself an act of treason.

  2. Michael Rubin
    June 24, 2020

    Many moons ago I lived for a time overseas and VOA was a wonderful source of news in the English language and better balanced than BBC World Service, which tended then to focus on the former colonies for its international coverage. From my experiences with Associated Press, VOA has always been a trusted source of solid information throughout all of its various outlets. Turning it into a propaganda machine will ruin its sterling reputation, just as Trump has wrecked our country’s.

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