Senate Foreign Relations Committee Approves Flake Amendment to Hold USAGM Accountable, Promote Democracy
Posted on Nov 28 2018
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) today offered an amendment to S. 3654, the U.S. Agency for Global Media Reform Act, that will ensure that Congress is informed about pending investigations into, and any delays in formal disciplinary action being taken against employees placed on administrative leave for producing content that is inconsistent with the Agency’s mission. The amendment was adopted by unanimous consent. Following the recent broadcasting of anti-Semitic programming by TV Marti, a U.S.-funded Spanish language network overseen by USAGM, this timely amendment will serve as a safeguard to journalistic integrity and the proper use of taxpayer dollars:
“Last spring, a TV Marti program that was introduced with the phrase, ‘George Soros, a multimillionaire Jew,’ was paid for and broadcast to Latin America in our name. American taxpayers should not be funding the dissemination of anti-Semitism. The USAGM’s purpose is to inform and connect people in support of freedom and democracy, and this amendment will ensure those creating and approving its content will be held to a higher standard.”
- On October 29, 2018, Flake sent a letter requesting USAGM immediately investigate the evolution of TV Marti’s anti-Semitic segment. USAGM CEO John Lansing condemned the content of the TV Marti segment and promised disciplinary action for those deemed responsible for the programming.
- In October 23, 2018, it was reported that Radio Television Marti had produced and broadcasted a program with anti-Semitic content in May 2018. TV Marti is a U.S.-funded Spanish-language network that falls under the United States Agency for Global Media.
To view a PDF of the bill, click here.