President-elect Donald Trump, left, and his wife Melania Trump arrive to the "Make America Great Again Welcome Concert" at the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (AP)

Donald Trump sends two aides to Voice of America studios, raising fears he's going to politicize the outlet

President Trump's recent actions with VOA are raising red flags about his agenda there


Matthew Rozsa
January 24, 2017 7:30PM (UTC)

President Donald Trump "temporarily assigned" two Republican political operatives to the headquarters of Voice of America on Monday, raising concerns that he plans on transforming the network into a site for pro-Trump propaganda.

Matthew Ciepielowski and Matthew Schuck, who worked for the Trump campaign in New Hampshire and Wisconsin respectively, were sent to the studios of the Broadcasting Board of Governors "to ensure an open, transparent and seamless transition of the BBG to the Trump Administration," according to an email by CEO John F. Lansing published by Politico on Monday. Although Voice of America is subsidized by the American government, it has traditionally remained nonpartisan and instead focused on extolling the virtues of America-style democracy both in this country and throughout the world.

Advertisement:

This isn't the first time that the Trump administration's plans with Voice of America have caused concern. On Saturday the site raised eyebrows when it sent out a series of tweets (one of which it later deleted) about Press Secretary Sean Spicer's first White House press conference that seemed to implicitly agree with his dishonest characterization of Trump's inauguration turnout.

Because Congress has eliminated the VOA's independent board of directors and replaced them with a single CEO appointed by the president, Trump could very easily transform the VOA into an outlet that promotes the "alternative facts" most convenient to his agenda. Schuck was a staff writer for the Daily Surge, an unabashedly right-wing website, until April 2015.

Advertisement:

This may be the latest salvo in the Trump team's "long-running war with the media."

 


Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

MORE FROM Matthew Rozsa


Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Donald Trump Voice Of America

Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •