Another wheelbarrow load

Another shining example of trumpal excellence at Voice of America:

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel, a federal watchdog, disclosed Wednesday that it had found “a substantial likelihood of wrongdoing” at the parent agency of the Voice of America under the leadership of the CEO appointed by President Trump.

Since taking over the U.S. Agency for Global Media, CEO Michael Pack has turned it upside down, sidelining top executives, firing network chiefs, and deep-sixing requests for visa extensions for foreign staffers. Most notably, Pack had two senior political aides with records of strongly pro-Trump ideological statements investigate journalists for perceived anti-Trump bias and push for sympathetic news coverage of the president during the campaign.

The finding is yet another formal and stinging rebuke to Pack’s actions, though it is not a final determination. In late November, U.S. Judge Beryl Howell ruled that Pack had acted unconstitutionally in investigating his own journalists on political grounds. She ordered him to stop intervening inside VOA’s newsrooms. Suspended executives have separately filed a complaint with the inspector general of the U.S. State Department, which has jurisdiction over the agency.

But he’s the boss! He gets to do whatever he wants! That’s the rule. Stupid peasants with their rakes and shovels don’t get to tell bosses what they can do.

NPR has learned that among the whistleblowers is Steve Herman, VOA’s White House bureau chief and perhaps its best-known journalist. Two of Pack’s top political aides investigated Herman, claiming he was unfair to Trump and demanding he be reassigned from covering the presidential campaign. The two men, neither of whom has a background in journalism, relied in part on tweets relaying statements from the president’s critics. 

Way to model the benefits of free and independent journalism.

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