— Rogue Money (@theroguemoney) January 21, 2017
We present this update to our January 21st story, not just to vindicate our own reporting or the quality of RogueMoney’s Washington D.C. sources, but also to demonstrate once again how the Trumpening is threatening a rather stodgy or lazy status quo across multiple bureaucracies. Particularly those like VOA, which emerged out of the first Cold War and which hawks in Congress demand consciously see itself as an instrument of information warfare (even if ‘debunking’ ‘Kremlin lies’) in Cold War 2.0.
Let Hysteria Ring! https://t.co/D0e9XGHqvH
— BBG Watch (@BBGWatch) December 28, 2016
From VOA’s persistent critics at BBG Watch, a site for former RFE/RL and VOA professionals to rue the current state of the U.S. taxpayer funded news agencies…
Fierce Pentagon Denials of Any Cooperation in Syria Amidst Trump Admin Spokesman Sean Spicer Saying Commander in Chief Trump is Open to Working with Russia Against ISIS
To recap: Pentagon, CENTCOM, US Coalition all deny cooperation w/ Russia in Syria. Sean Spicer doesn’t confirm/deny, says Trump open to it.
— Samuel Oakford (@samueloakford) January 23, 2017
An example of the ongoing clash between the new Administration’s stated promise from its leader to seek cooperation with the Russians against ISIS and a Washington Establishment that finds such moves anathema came on Monday. During a press conference White House spokesman Sean Spicer denied that Trump would interfere in any way shape or form with allegedly ongoing investigations into contacts his advisers had with either Russian diplomats or businessmen prior to or during or after the 2016 campaign.
Or maybe Flynn isn’t actually under investigation…. https://t.co/Gv8MlrTEg5
— Jubal E. Harshaw (@alimhaider) January 24, 2017
On Monday January 24 at 1:58 a.m. Eastern time VOA posted an article to its US Politics section, “White House: Trump Would Not Stop Investigation into Russian Contacts“. However VOA being a day behind the news as usual cited a Wall Street Journal story about National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn’s phone calls to Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kisylak, while not updating the article to mention fresh reports contradicting the WSJ’s sources line that Flynn was still under investigation for the calls. Despite the arrival of two Trump campaign representatives to the Wilber J. Cohen Building in the last few days, the usual anti-Trump and Trump as Kremlin candidate bias toward the Establishment’s Rooskies stabbed Hillary and us in the back myth persists in VOA ‘reports’, just couched in less obviously anti-Trump language. VOA turned to Malcolm Nance for a quote on Spicer’s dismissal of anything improper about Flynn’s (FBI/NSA vetted) contacts with the Russian Embassy, without mentioning that Nance is the author of a book titled The Plot to Hack America: How Putin’s Cyberspies and Wikileaks Tried to Steal the 2016 Election. A book whose very title implies that Russia may have had such a capability, when there’s zero evidence of any Russian hacking of actual votes.
Will those like Nance who are bitter partisans of the #BlameRussia for Hillary’s humiliating defeat theory, or the WSJ reporters Shane Harris, Carol E. Lee and Devlin Barrett apologize to General Flynn or retract their story spreading innuendo of him being under investigation as a Russian agent of some sort? Don’t hold your breath.
As for VOA, the members of team Trump being briefed about what VOA’s doing aren’t supposed to be that hands on, or having any input on the entity’s reporting at all:
— Rogue Money (@theroguemoney) January 23, 2017
To be fair VOA cannot be faulted too much for acting as an echo chamber for the general innuendo, lies, and hysterical headlines about Trump-Russia! ‘we finally nailed the Siberian candidate this time’ in tone, when the stories themselves always have to be walked back or quickly fall apart under examination. Remember the Trump organization-Alfa Bank Internet traffic connection that turned out to be spam emails? Or the quasi-memory holed due to legacy media embarrassment over its totally unsubstantiated nature pissgate dossier produced by a super reliable ex-MI6 man Christopher Steele who refused to defend his ‘work’, but fled into hiding instead? It is for pointing out the desperation to ‘prove’ the Trump as Putin’s puppet conspiracy theory promoted by Hillary Clinton and much of the ex-spook Establishment that actual journalists like Glenn Greenwald are hated by many. When was the last time VOA inserted a quote from Glenn Greenwald into a story to provide balance to the likes of the Malcom Nances?
Dear WaPost (and VOA/RFERL): Many Americans Agree with President Trump that Merkel Did Terrible Damage to Her Country By Admitting Millions of Unvetted Muslim Refugees
— Rogue Money (@theroguemoney) January 13, 2017
Look Homeward VOA/RFERL, There’s a Whole Gun Owning, Redneck ‘Isolationist’ and ‘Deplorable’ Country You Refuse to Show to the World Beyond the Beltway and NYC
More fundamentally, have VOA or RFERL bothered since the election to talk to any one of Trump’s nearly 63 million voters? One could be forgiven, if you lived in Africa or Southeast Asia and listened to VOA via the Internet or short wave, for wondering how Trump managed to get elected at all. And of course, if you live in a post-Soviet bloc country, you will never hear from VOA or RFERL that Trump’s promise to ‘get along with Putin’ if at all possible drew repeated applause from thousands of Americans.
If you pretend that peace with ‘Putin’s Russia’ or more broadly Trump’s alleged ‘isolationism’ isn’t popular with tens of thousands who came to hear him speak from 2015-16, then perhaps such distressing thoughts for many foreigners say in Ukraine will go away. If like RFE/RL Prague-based commentator Brian Whitmore you denounce nationalist parties like Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD) or the National Front (FN) as playthings of Putin for their Russia stance, then you never have to listen to their actual grievances or explain why anyone would voter against open borders defending/EU empress Angela Merkel.
— Jakub Janda (@_JakubJanda) January 24, 2017
At any rate, even if the career bureaucrats and lazy scribblers at VOA wait out Trump campaign New Hampshire state director Matthew Ciepielowski and Wisconsin communications director Matthew Schuck as the latest ‘Christmas help’, while the 4th branch of government does its thing, major contradictions loom in the near future. When the Pentagon gets dragged kicking and screaming through orders of its Commander in Chief into at least indirect cooperation with Russia against ISIS this year (even if providing targeting data to the NATO member Turks which gets used by the Russian Air Force is disavowed as ‘rubbish’) things are inevitably getting awkward for the anti-Trump and ColdWar2 waging fanatics of American taxpayer funded media. As the Russia Analyst has documented, neocon fanatics on the European Union (EU)’s payroll like Jakub Kalensky are attacking Trump as a Russian agent on Twitter almost every day, while smearing new media hosts as Kremlin mouthpieces. Soon enough someone from team Trump is going to notice and push back, reminding Mr. Kalensky he may abuse the French and German taxpayers with his hackery but he won’t be getting a dime of American taxpayer money or invites to State Department events.
In conclusion, the choice the employees of VOA and RFERL make in the weeks and months to come — whether to do their job honestly as journalists or to use taxpayer funds to widen their failing information war abroad with one against Trump and the deplorables at home — will have consequences. Perhaps even for the viability of any U.S. government funded broadcasting for years or decades to come. If nothing else, Trump is the catalyst forcing an Establishment desperately defending a failing Atlanticist/globalist status quo to face reality.