https://www.independent.co.uk/news/worl ... 60441.htmlTrump administration launches attack on government media group Voice of America
The White House lobbed a bizarre broadside against Voice of America (VoA) this week, using one of its popular communications channels to accuse the US-funded foreign news broadcaster of amplifying Chinese propaganda.
The post appeared Thursday on “1600 Daily”, an events summary produced by the White House digital team. The charges hurled at the 75-year-old broadcaster seemed so overheated that some readers worried hackers had infiltrated the White House’s networks.
But Dan Scavino Jr, President Donald Trump’s social media director, echoed the claims on Twitter.
“American taxpayers — paying for China’s very own propaganda, via the US government-funded Voice of America! DISGRACE!!” Mr Scavino wrote in sharing a VoA post about a light show in China on Wednesday.
The light show marked the reopening of Wuhan, the Chinese city where the coronavirus was first detected, which had been locked down for months.
Among other charges, the White House post claimed VoA, which uses widely watched numbers from Johns Hopkins University to track coronavirus cases and deaths around the world, “created graphics with communist government statistics to compare China’s coronavirus death toll to America’s”.
“VOA too often speaks for America’s adversaries — not its citizens,” the post read. Asked about the post on Friday, the White House had no further comment.
Amanda Bennett, who leads VoA, pushed back against the claims.
“We are thoroughly covering China’s disinformation and misinformation in English and Mandarin and at the same time reporting factually,” she said in a statement on Friday.
“VOA has thoroughly debunked much of the information coming from the Chinese government and government-controlled media.”
The statement includes links to more than a dozen VoA reports exposing Beijing’s underestimates of coronavirus deaths in Wuhan, its use of Twitter to spread disinformation about the origins of the virus, and its bogus claims about aiding other nations.
Ms Bennett, who is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, also responded to Mr Scavino on Twitter.
“We believe a healthy democracy means having an #Independent and #FreePress, so we love a good dialogue,” she wrote in a series of messages about the broadcaster’s work.
“Our team works hard to fact-check and hold authorities and leaders accountable for what they say. We have a whole department dedicated to this effort @PolygraphInfo.”
New York Times
The White House is 955 miles from Niceville