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At UN, VOA Asks of Inexperience of Nikki Haley & Jared Kushner, Censors Going Rogue

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 16 – Voice of America at the UN, having tried to get other investigative media evicted as far back at 2012, has now gone freelance. How else to explain VOA correspondent Margaret Basheer on February 16 asking Palestine's Riyad Mansour to criticism new boss Trump's appointment of Jared Kushner as Middle East mediator? Video here.

  Back in November 2016 just after Trump's election, the confusion perhaps still understandable, the same Basheer asked the United Kingdom's Ambassador Rycroft to criticize Trump's Ambassador Nikki Haley as inexperienced and unqualified, here.

  Who does Voice of America work for? Clearly not the US Constitution - the same Basheer and her superiors were happy in 2012 to try to get the investigative Press thrown out of the UN - exposed by FOIA here - and pursue it since. But it brings up the debate about VOA.

Voice of America has been run by a Broadcasting Board of Governors, and that may soon change. The Washington Post of December 10 says that's bad but Inner City Press based on its experience sees things differently.

  When Voice of America tried secretly to get Inner City Press thrown out of the United Nations, a Freedom of Information request to the BBG revealed mismanagement and a near-total lack of commitment to freedom of the press.

After an initial FOIA response, BBG took to denying in full all subsequent requests, including about its personnel's involvement in the 2016 ouster and eviction of Inner City Press by Ban Ki-moon's "public information" chief Cristina Gallach in favor of Egyptian state media Akhbar al Yom, which rarely even comes to the UN and never asks questions.

  So to get rid of the fig leaf of the BBG - which didn't provide any oversight of protection for media freedom - well may be more honest. And at least at the UN, those pretending to be independent will have decision to make.

For now the decision will be the US Senate's: the change was already pushed through the House Foreign Affairs Committee, under the leadership of Ed Royce, in the National Defense Authorization Act.
Following the election of Donald Trump on November 8-9 UN high officials, one of them told Inner City Press on November 14, “have been freaking out. They don't know how much is going to be cut, and from where.”

 Early on November 23 it was reported that Trump has chosen as his Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, the Governor of South Carolina.

By 10 am in front of the UN Security Council, UK Ambassador to the UN Matthew Rycroft, along with answering Inner City Press on Myanmar, was congratulating Governor Haley and her track record in South Carolina. Then he was asked, by US state media Voice of America's Margaret Basheer, “Do you have you any concerns that she has pretty much zero foreign policy experience?” Video here.

Rycroft repeated his congratulations; Inner City Press which has some experience with VOA and its US State Department linked Broadcasting Board of Governors including arbitrarily denied Freedom of Information Act requests, will continue to cover how this US state media changes from its political positions of the last four years to those elected on November 8, 2016. Watch this site.


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