Confused IBB and BBG bureaucracy grows at the expense of strategy, national interests and public diplomacy

Of late, a lot of confusion at the BBG, IBB and all of U.S. international broadcasting. Confusion about the actual VOA mission codified in the VOA Charter and passed into law P.L.94-350, confusion about the actual distinct role of surrogate radio as opposed to VOA. Foreign policy guidelines? A thing of the past. National security and the national interests of the USA? No significance. Public diplomacy interests minimized. A whirlwind of excuses, finger-pointing, justifications, an onerous bureaucracy, dismal management policies, wrong-headed research, he said/she said/we said. A veritable Tower of Babel. All epitomized in this classic comedy skit of Abbott & Costello. Who’s on first…..

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One Comment

  1. anonymous says:

    That all of this is happening with no attention from Washington-based or national media reflects how the BBG has been allowed to operate as a veritable rogue for decades. What a fantastic story for some keen reporter on the outside: President Obama, the Dalai Lama, and Burma’s democracy figure Aung San Suu Kyi praise VOA on its 70th birthday, while the BBG proceeds to blast the hell out of VOA’s core news operation.

    Not just the new clan of former CNN/Al-Jazeera employees who arrived in the last few years, but some entrenched bureaucrats on the 3rd floor trade high fives at the prospect of the oncoming process of evisceration. BBG/IBB officials hold a self-congratulatory ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary, while the halls are awash with conversation about the hypocrisy of it all.

    No escape for former VOA directors brought in for the ceremony. Any joint statement about the blood on the floor? Not so far. What an embarrassment. One wonders about the conversations in the Cohen building amid the happy talk about VOA’s wonderful accomplishments.

    A tragedy.

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