Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Monday, December 12, 2016

Here Comes "Pravda on the Potomac"

Don't think for a nanosecond that Steve Bannon isn't already aware of this:
President-elect Donald Trump is about to inherit a newly empowered Voice of America that some officials fear could serve as an unfettered propaganda arm for the former reality TV star who has flirted for years with launching his own network.

Buried on page 1,404 of the National Defense Authorization Act that passed last week is a provision that would disband the bipartisan board of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the independent U.S. agency that includes Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Asia, and the Middle East Broadcast Networks.

The move – pushed by House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce as a way to streamline the agency – concentrates control into a powerful CEO that is appointed by the president.

That change, combined with a 2013 legislative revision that allows the network to legally reach a U.S. audience, which was once banned, could pave the way for Trump-approved content created by the U.S. diplomacy arm, if he chooses to exploit the opportunity.
Yeah, "if he chooses to exploit the opportunity". Of course he will. I'd be somewhat surprised if either Bannon or Roger Stone aren't appointed to be the CEO of the VOA.

And the "Voice of Trump" will show up in your basic cable menu with a very low channel number.

(Satire and reality are becoming too hard to distinguish.)

Also, Sen. McConnell promises a "bipartisan review" of the hacking claims. Right. He threatened the CIA if they disclosed it before the election, but he was OK with Comey's election-rigging. Having McConnell involved in any such review is akin to putting Bernie Madoff in charge of the SEC.


New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

The new rules were fine with the Left until November 10th

Joe said...

Your post seems to be lacking in citations, NJT. I'm genuinely curious what you think "the Left" means.

But if I understand you correctly, yeah. We used to be able to get lots of things done without micromanagement from Congress, knowing that social conventions would keep our political opponents from being world-destroying jerks. I miss those days. The structure has been teetering for eight years, until it came crashing down last month.

Comrade Misfit said...


{deleted} {deleted} {deleted}!!

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

You are hearing about it now because Hillary lost.

"Lacking in citations" Joe? Pfff! Let me cite when the dog didn't bark, too.

Comrade Misfit said...

NJT, you are playing the pernicious "both-siderism" game, which conveniently allows you to duck the question as to whether having state-controlled media networks is wrong.

I think it has the potential to be destructive to a free society.

Apparently, you would seem to disagree.

dinthebeast said...

If there were a hell, Roy Cohn would be there now, laughing his ass off.

-Doug in Oakland

B said...

Wasn't this in the works BEFORE the election?

It's only news because Trump can use it. Hillary wouldn't have abused it in the way that the left fears Trump will, of course....

I fail to be persuaded that either candidate would abuse it.

Comrade Misfit said...

B, if you read the article, apparently it was, and with bipartisan approval and since 2013.

But regardless when it came to light, I wholly reject your (and NJT's) shrugging it off as "both sides are corrupt, whaddya gonna do" and the apparent acceptance, by you, of the concept of state-controlled media.

If democracy comes cratering down, it will be because of cynical both-siderism. Such as yours.

CenterPuke88 said...

Call me cynical, but I'm still not convinced tRump gets sworn in, and if he does, Pence is President within 11 months. The Donald will get tired and decide to quit, because he's already shown us he can win, and because a new season of Celebirty Apprentice "needs" him.

This is why Pence is laying low and doing the Presidential thing. Now, with the Presidency securely R, the old hands can work to can tRump and install their boy, safely.

Joe said...

The GOP clearly thinks Trump is Zaphod Beeblebrox, distracting the watchdogs while they loot the Treasury. The problem is, what if he doesn't agree?

We'll find out when the congressional investigation into the Russian connection gets going, and they either do or do not subpoena financial records from the Trump Organization.

D. said...

"Having McConnell involved in any such review is akin to putting Bernie Madoff in charge of the SEC."

Don't give them any ideas!

(My own vague recollection is that VOA and RFE were supposedly external only [like the CIA] and designed to combat Communist propaganda [I have mentioned that I am officially Old, right?] with US propaganda. So this ... little rearrangement ... probably means hunting up Communist propaganda, and I don't think they do too much of that anymore.)

dinthebeast said...

Joe: You mean the way the DNI report on Russian hacking and the Access Hollywood tape came out on the same day?

-Doug in Oakland

B said...

Actually, unlike you, I make no excuses, just "because party".

I think it was, and is, terrible. My question to you was to make you realize that it was, indeed, ok with everybody (and especially the DNC and the press) until Trump got the reigns. Then "OMG...a big deal!" Yet it wasn't when Barry "fuck the legislature, I'll just do an executive order" Obama had the power.

Barry didn't fuck it up, and likely Trump won't either. You have to get over your Trump Derangement Syndrome and become rational.

I DO think that it would better if there were an oversight committee.....But even that can be abused and/or staffed with synchophants.

I was merely pointing out the (again) double standard here.