In this, of course, the VOA does not differ from the mainstream media. By Kenneth R. Timmerman in Newsmax, with thanks to Lamecherry:
WASHINGTON — Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn has released a pair of bombshell reports on U.S. government broadcasting to Iran, writing to President George W. Bush that the broadcasts “undermine U.S. policy on Iran, often even supporting the propaganda of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Last year, the administration asked Congress for an additional $50 million to fund Persian-language broadcasts by the Voice of America television and Radio Farda (Tomorrow), which is jointly managed by VOA and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
But the government’s interagency Iran Steering Group found in a report released by Coburn that neither network has been effective at representing the views of the U.S. government, a mission defined in VOA’s charter, let alone at promoting democracy.
“Neither station is a primary source of news for Iranians,” the Steering Group report found.
The report found that Radio Farda, whose mission is to be a “surrogate radio” similar to the Radio Free Europe broadcasts to Poland during the Solidarity movement, “rarely takes a stance that could risk antagonizing the Islamic Republic.”
The radio’s “normal coverage of views inside Iran seems to vary between sympathetic and neutral with respect to the regime,” the report added. Before Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took over as Iran’s president in August 2005, Radio Farda was known derisively inside Iran as “Radio Khatami,” after Ahmadinejad’s predecessor, the much-touted “moderate” Mohammad Khatami.
Rather than present original reporting from sources inside Iran, “the majority of the news read on Radio Farda is actually from the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), the official news agency of the Iranian regime,” the report states. “Residents of Iran do not need to turn to Radio Farda to receive IRNA news. This is probably one reason why Iranians do not turn to Radio Farda as a source of fresh news.”
The situation at the Voice of America, which is seeking to expand into a 24/7 television network, is arguably worse.
VOA’s Persian service rarely invites U.S. government officials to debate or even explain U.S. policy. But it has given ample air-time to top Hezbollah leaders in Lebanon, and to anti-American advocates, the report found.
Read it all.