Senator Menendez Hints At Tough Questions for Amanda Bennett About USAGM Job


Amanda Bennett is likely to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate for the position of the CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM). At her Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Tuesday, June 7, 2022, she received easy questions from a few participating Senators. The only hint of any possible trouble for her nomination came from the committee chairman, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ).

A confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for Amanda Bennett, a former Voice of America (VOA) Director, nominated for the position of the CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), was held Tuesday, June 7, 2022.

USAGM Watch Commentary

Amanda Bennett received soft questions from a few Senators who participated in the hearing. Only the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), hinted that there have been complaints of mismanagement and bias when Amanda Bennett was in charge of the Voice of America. He suggested that these complaints may be raised later at a business meeting. Bennett has been a target of severe criticism — unprecedented in its intensity in VOA’s history — from immigrant and ethnic groups in the United States, including Chinese Americans, Iranian Americans, and Cuban Americans. End Commentary

Amanda Bennett: I have striven to make sure that I always uphold the principles of neutrality non-partisanship, unbiased reporting, journalism, and I intend to keep on fulfilling those principles.

USAGM Watch Commentary

What did the Voice of America (VOA) do under Bennett’s watch?

Anti-U.S., anti-Israel videos and Chinese propaganda without balance.

Political ads violating the VOA Charter.

Iran regime propaganda without balance.

End Commentary

Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman: Because there have been suggestions in the past that your previous role suggests that that is not the view that you had; that you were quote-unquote advocates for some of the views of these regimes. And I just want to set the record straight since not too many may attend the hearing, but when it comes time for a business meeting, we’ll hear a chorus of things from some people.

Amanda Bennett: I appreciate that. My entire journalistic career has been devoted to giving truthful news and information and not advocating for any position whatsoever, especially not that for repressive regime.