Tuesday, November 27, 2018

An apology to Mr. Soros

More reporting on the TV Marti program on George Soros:

OnCuba reports that John Lansing, head of the U.S. agency that oversees Radio/TV Marti, has apologized to George Soros and to the head of his foundation for the program that he judges to be “utterly offensive in its anti-Semitism and clear bias.” His letters, embedded in the article, are not your typical U.S. government statement; they are a strong and complete rejection of the product that TV Marti purveyed. Here’s hoping that Lansing’s attitude permeates the investigation. He has ordered Radio/TV Marti to hire a Standards and Practices Editor, and he is having a third-party contractor conduct an audit of the past year of Radio/TV Marti’s output.

El Nuevo Herald reports that a total of four employees of Radio/TV Marti have been suspended as the investigation continues, and that the investigation revealed that the Radio/TV Marti webpage had published “excessive attacks on the Quran,” according to director Tomas Regalado. Regalado made that statement in a Miami radio interview last week. The article also mentions a web article based on Judicial Watch materials that was removed from the Radio/TV Marti site but is cached here.

Monday, November 5, 2018

TV Marti Soros program, subtitled

Here’s a friend’s translation of the TV Marti program on George Soros.

Three errata: at 3:50 it should be “Popper’s liberalism” (reference to Karl Popper); at 9:08 the word “NSA” was omitted from the presentation of Madsen; at 12:08 it should be “exercise of eight months.”


Sunday, November 4, 2018

Mr. Regalado adapts

The U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), Radio/TV Marti which oversees the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB), is investigating the TV Marti Soros program, and from this Herald story we learn it’s a 10-day investigation.

While the investigation proceeds, OCB Director Tomas Regalado has been commenting and seemingly trying to find safe political ground.

He began by half-embracing the program, saying that Judicial Watch is a “good source” but should not have been the only source, and that the program fell short because it was “not precise” and lacked “balance.” As if the program contained an actual story that was not properly told.

By last Wednesday he was saying the program “looks like an anti-Semitic report” and he made the ridiculous suggestion that the Radio/TV Marti staff needs diversity training.

In his statement yesterday, he flatly called the program anti-Semitic and called for “ethics and standards training,” which presumably includes the basics of journalism.

I suppose it’s good that Regalado is adapting. The program was produced and aired before he assumed his duties, but his initial reactions to it set a terrible example for his newsroom.

He also told the Herald – again, before the investigation is complete – that two people, and two people alone, are responsible for this fiasco. They were “the only two people who had anything to do with the report coming out on the air,” he said. That statement strains credulity and looks like an effort to limit and isolate the damage. Fire two people, case closed, everybody moves on.

Regalado also told the Herald another interesting detail. Reporter Isabel Cuervo, he says, did no on-camera interviews for the program. That means that Cuervo lied on the Levantate Cuba program when she said that she herself interviewed Lia Fowler, whose comments appeared to be from a Skype interview. (I would post the clip but TV Marti removed it from YouTube, and appears to be purging everything on its website and elsewhere that refers to the Soros program.)

Meanwhile, Senator Menendez wrote to the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) to set some expectations for the investigation and to demand information. Good for him.

You're welcome, Vladimir

It was apparent that some of the video material in the TV Marti Soros program was drawn from other sources. Some, it turns out, was lifted from an RT program and included on the TV Marti broadcast, without attribution.

I’m referring to comments by Michele Steinberg, editor of a magazine affiliated with Lyndon LaRouche. She is interviewed extensively in this Spanish-language RT program about Mr. Soros, titled “Who is George Soros Really?” Part of her interview with RT and other footage from the RT program appear in the TV Marti program, with the RT logo erased from the screen.

If you want to see for yourself, the RT footage here at 4:20 was clipped and used by TV Marti here at 5:26.

The RT program features Ms. Steinberg’s discussion of the links between Mr. Soros and the Rothschilds. So two of three people cited in the TV Marti program turn out to be exponents of one of the oldest anti-Semitic tropes in the world.

As a friend points out, the U.S. government used Russian anti-Semitic propaganda to make American anti-Semitic propaganda for broadcast to Latin America.

"Anti-Semitism and clear bias" at TV Marti...

...a statement in Spanish and English from the director of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, Tomas Regalado, on the Radio/TV Marti website.