By Li Qingqing Source: Global Times
Some 16 Voice of America journalists, including Chinese journalists, may be forced to return to their countries in the coming weeks, as their visas are expiring with no action from the US Agency for Global Media (USAGM)’s new leadership, unless the US government agrees to renew their visas, or extend the grace periods for them to depart, Associated Press reported.
VOA is a familiar media outlet to “America’s adversaries.” Its voice had been especially loud when the US instigated internal rifts and manipulated color revolutions in its “adversaries.”
But the 16 foreign VOA journalists may have to leave the US. This reflects the increasingly embarrassing situation of the US foreign propaganda machine, which is becoming unsustainable, and increasingly difficult to hold water. As the US government’s mouthpiece, VOA has been declining in influence along with the decline of US power. Its content has been met with suspicion in targeted countries.
Worse, the meaning of its existence has been questioned inside the US. Before new USAGM chief executive Michael Pack assumed office, the White House in April openly accused VOA of speaking for “America’s adversaries.” Also in April, President Donald Trump said what VOA says “is disgusting toward our country.” VOA has been in a difficult position both domestically and externally.
“VOA news will be accurate, objective, and comprehensive… VOA will represent America, not any single segment of American society.” This is part of the “principles” that govern VOA broadcasts, the USAGM website said.
But, ironically, just because VOA once reported China’s COVID-19 fight and data in a relatively objective manner, it faced harsh domestic criticism, and Amanda Bennett and Deputy Director Sandy Sugawara stepped down after Pack assumed office. This is typical US hypocrisy.
With foreign propaganda as its main function, VOA is now expelling foreign journalists who mostly come from “America’s adversaries.” This is a huge irony. It also shows that the US has reached a new level of xenophobia with its brutal hostility toward the outside world, especially toward countries with different ideologies.
This reflects the current US administration’s xenophobia. It is pure retrogression to use the excuse of “security failures” to expel journalists working at the US mouthpiece.
Such US xenophobia will only harm US political pluralism. From ordinary people, media outlets to US political parties, extreme smears and groundless accusations against the so-called “American adversaries” can be expected. There’s a lack of room for rational discussions. Such a US will only suffer from retrogression. Tying all Americans to an ideological chariot of xenophobia will ultimately damage the US’ credibility and national image.