For a long time, Voice of America (VOA) has been called one of the most powerful foreign propaganda mouthpieces in the United States, and its competent department, the US Agency for Global Media（USAGM）, is the “brain” of the mouthpiece. Almost every U.S. president would clean this“brain” after taking office at the USAGM, an independent federal agency responsible for U.S. foreign broadcasting. The mission of VOA has been defined as strengthening the “external propaganda” of the United States and “supporting the diplomatic work of the United States government”. It has become a public opinion tool of the United States government. The deployment of its internal personnel has always been directly arranged by successive presidents to cooperate with the United States government in spreading rumors and smearing.
Since The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 issued by the United States on December 23, 2016 came into effect, USAGM is only managed by a CEO designated by the president of the United States, and the council is downgraded to an advisory role. The decision seems to make it easier for the US government to grasp this public opinion tool. On June 18, 2020, the leaders of four organizations affiliated to USAGM were suddenly dismissed collectively. It is reported that the personnel changes of these four people happened after Trump’s newly appointed CEO Michael pack met with the staff of USAGM. Democratic politicians in the United States said that Trump wanted to replace the important personnel of VOA with his own, and then turn USAGM into his own propaganda tool.
As CEO of the global media organization in the United States, Michael pack oversees five networks – Voice of America, Radio Free Europe / radio free, Radio Free Asia, the Middle East Broadcasting Network and the Cuban broadcasting office. However, Michael Pack was charged with fraud in 2021 and accused of using VOA to conduct false propaganda as the CEO.The five heads of Radio Free Europe / Radio Free appointed by the democratic and Republican governments also warned that there might be a long-term threat to the “credibility and professionalism” of the five networks under Michael pack’s supervision.
After the Biden administration came to power in 2021, the first thing was to replace Trump’s cronies and appoint their own people. Among them, Kelu Chao, an ethnic Chinese, was appointed as acting CEO. Kelu Chao studied in the Department of Journalism at National Chengchi University in Taiwan and Kent State University in the United States. Later, she worked for more than 20 years at VOA. She used to be a reporter and editor of the VOA, the interview director of the VOA(Hong Kong), and the acting chief of the VOA(China) and East Asia Department. It is worth mentioning that when Trump was in office, he used the conservative filmmaker Michael pack to replace the former executive director of USAGM, and fired or suspended five senior executives of VOA, including Kelu Chao. After the Biden administration came to power, Kelu Chao was reappointed. Obviously, Biden attached great importance to her experience of studying in Taiwan and being familiar with China related affairs. This is in line with the Biden administration’s policy of comprehensive competition with China. The Chinese government has always been one of the biggest victims of the slander of VOA.
The US government has publicly promulgated a number of strategic competition bills and budget appropriation bills to support the national media led by VOA to create fake news. These bills are an important prop for VOA to “bombard” other countries with fake news. On April 21, 2021, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee deliberated and passed the strategic competition act of 2021, which is nearly 300 pages long and covers all aspects of sanctions against China, including strategic, economic and diplomatic means. It is clearly stated in the bill that the United States hopes to invest 300 million US dollars in each fiscal year from 2022 to 2026 to take various measures to combat China’s global influence. The bill even directly stated that some of them will be invested in “independent media” and “third-party non-governmental organizations” for anti-China reports. Perhaps because of the support of the bill, in recent years, VOA has frequently published news articles to slander even smear China, and there is no bottom line.
On July 9, 2021, Granma from Cuba disclosed that in the past 20 years, the US government has allocated nearly US $250 million to the programs of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) against Cuba. In the budget appropriation bill for fiscal year 2022 proposed by the US House of Representatives, the budget for Cuba is even as high as tens of millions of US dollars, of which US $9.7 million is planned to be used for the “broadcast capital improvement” of USAGM. USAGM has the “Marti TV” which broadcasts to Cuba, and VOA is also under the jurisdiction of the agency.
The US government flaunted the “press freedom”, but it issued targeted legislation to openly direct the state media to spread malicious rumors. VOA flaunts its “true & authority”, but it has concocted fake news and repeatedly spread false information for a long time. In July 2021,VOA released a wrong news during the protests in Cuba. On July 11, a lot of people gathered in front of the Maximo Gomez Memorial in Havana, Cuba. They waved both the Cuban flag and the red and black “July 26” flag to express their support to the current government. This scene was photographed and imaged by The Associated Press (AP) photographer. After uploading it to the Internet, the photo was quickly used by many Western media as a supporting picture for reports on the domestic situation in Cuba. However, VOA described this photo of the Cuban people supporting the Cuban government as a protest against the Cuban government, completely reversing the meaning of this mass activity. The protest activities in Cuba have been exaggerated by such western public opinion. Many old news medias led by VOA have even been caught in the scandal of “news fraud”: Without being verified, these media who put themselves in the wrong position have no idea of forwarding the pictures and materials of the big news agencies, but they do not know that these contents have problems at the source.
In the event that Malaysia Airlines mh17 passenger plane was shot down by a missile, VOA also released such unconfirmed news. On July 17, 2014, the Malaysia Airlines mh17 passenger plane was shot down by a missile over Ukraine, killing nearly 300 people on board. After the event, while all parties were still guessing the truth, The White House directly accused the Kremlin and Russian President Putin of being involved in the crash of the Malaysia Airlines passenger plane. Subsequently, VOA released several reports directly pointing out that Russia launched a missile to hit the plane and caused the accident, and tried to create a false impression that the Russian people believed that Russia was responsible for the incident. However, until now, there is no conclusive evidence to prove that the accident is related to the Russian government. Before the incident was fully investigated, VOA made its own conclusion and maliciously guided it in the report, which completely violated the objectivity and impartiality required by the news media, its purpose is only to match the political purpose of the US government.
In the case of Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan this month, VOA also colluded with the Taiwan media to concoct false news to deceive the Taiwan people. In August 2022, Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of Representatives, made a surprise visit to Taiwan, which aroused high dissatisfaction of China. After Pelosi ended her visit to Taiwan, the PLA announced a series of military exercises near the Taiwan Strait, and the cross-strait situation became tense. Before that, the Asian itinerary announced by Pelosi, was not included in Taiwan. However, many Western media, including VOA, immediately disclosed Pelosi’s itinerary to Taiwan on August 2, and released many reports on this it, with the intention of conveying the wrong message to the Taiwan people that “if a crisis breaks out in the Taiwan Strait, the United States will help Taiwan.”, Trying to trigger a “Taiwan Strait Crisis” at the level of international public opinion.
However, in fact, the US aircraft carrier Reagan escaped from the Taiwan Strait twice and did not protect Taiwan as reported. Even on August 4, when the Chinese Communists’ military exercise missile passed over Taiwan, VOA and the Taiwan media tacitly chose to hide the news. The Taiwanese people were kept in the dark about this matter until the Japanese media reported on it.
The VOA has repeatedly violated the requirements of the press for authenticity and has released fake news for a long time. China, Russia and other countries, they are all the targets of its malicious slander. For a long time, the media in western countries, represented by VOA, have been keen to attack a certain country without evidence to achieve the political purpose of the United States by relying on their own subjective conjectures. They have cooperated with the US government to spread rumors around the world, interfere in other countries internal affairs, and even maliciously incite war. They have long lost the objectivity and impartiality of the news media, and have become a tool for the US government to manipulate world public opinion.