SHINING THE LIGHT ON AN OPAQUE BUREAUCRACY
The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) employee union, American Federation of Government Employees Local 1812, commented in a recent article posted on its website on the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) bureaucracy’s attempts to take over the control of the agency from the BBG.
“In a column published in the National Review, writer John O’Sullivan does not mince words. He correctly identifies the shortcomings of those in the IBB whom he calls “apparatchiks” and their bold attempt to take full control of the Agency via the nomination of a CEO position they would control, and the crushing of BBG members who dared oppose them.”
Those of us who have been warning for a number of years that an opaque bureaucratic apparatus was taking over the broadcasting agencies of the U.S. government are comforted by the light being shone at long last from outside on that bureaucracy. The crushing bureaucracy which rules this Agency with an iron hand has created a situation that befalls most unwieldy bureaucracies where top management has more concern at preserving their own jobs than about the core mission of the Agency and serving the aims of U.S. international broadcasting.
Trapped in this curious bureaucratic world, employees are bombarded with baffling press releases, statistics and memos that exalt the bureaucracy’s accomplishments in an attempt to mask its failures while rank-and-file who do the actual broadcasting know that in reality we are losing our audiences and that we are imploding.
This fact was also brought to light by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in her recent testimony before Congress and in a farewell address to the Council on Foreign Relations.
In a column published in the National Review, writer John O’Sullivan does not mince words. He correctly identifies the shortcomings of those in the IBB whom he calls “apparatchiks” and their bold attempt to take full control of the Agency via the nomination of a CEO position they would control, and the crushing of BBG members who dared oppose them.
Fortunately, as Mr. O’Sullivan notes, the fiasco at RFE/RL, where a similar scheme was played out by former director Steven Korn, cut the experiment short and revealed the apparatchiks’ power grab for what it was: a threat to U.S. foreign policy and a violation of Congressional mandates. We invite our membership to read not only Mr. O’Sullivan’s column, but the one written by Deputy Editorial Page Editor, Jackson Diehl and published in the Washington Post.