TRUMP APPOINTEE AXES EXECS OF US-FUNDED MEDIA OUTLETS
Michael Pack, a filmmaker aligned with Steve Bannon, has mounted his own “Saturday Night Massacre” by firing five officials who headed five government-funded media outlets and dismissing the members of the board supervising these outlets and replacing them with Trump loyalists.
Writing for Vox late on June 18, 2020, Elliot Hannon said Pack, an appointee of US President Donald Trump, was belatedly confirmed by Senate Republicans to manage the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM), which oversees a handful of federally funded but editorially independent media organizations, like Voice of America (VOA), which was organized in 1942 to counter Nazi propaganda.
Pack, an ally of former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, was selected by Trump in hopes of steering favorable coverage from the group of outlets, which, put together, amount to one of the largest media networks in the world. Trump has railed on about the buttoned-up coverage of VOA, which broadcasts in 40 languages to as many as 280 million people a week, at one point referring to it as the “Voice of the Soviet Union,” and more recently accusing it of reciting Chinese propaganda.
On Wednesday night, Pack did what he was sent to do and summarily fired the heads of the five media organizations overseen by the media agency. Pack also dismissed the bipartisan board that oversees the media organizations, replacing it with Trump loyalists, including himself as the chair. Pack manages the following media organizations: Radio Free Asia, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Middle East Broadcasting Networks, the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, and the Open Technology Fund.