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  • BBC Snags Second Obama Interview

    President Obama’s major Middle East speech offers an opportunity to provide substance to a policy so far heavy on rhetoric and light on action. It also offers the opportunity for Obama to use Voice of America (VOA) to help deliver the message of support to the Arab peoples, who are in an unprecedented struggle for peaceful political change.

    Yet, for the second time in the space of a year, it will not be VOA but the BBC that will get the coveted interview with President Obama (according to the White House schedule at 2:55 p.m.). This time, it will be a sit down in the White House Diplomatic Room just hours after the President’s Middle East speech. The first time, it was the BBC’s Persian service that had the opportunity to interview Obama at the United Nations.

    In fact, Obama is the only U.S. President since VOA came into being during World War II not to give an interview to the signature international broadcaster of the U.S. government. At the White House, where VOA maintains a bureau, VOA is generally treated as an unwanted relative, never called on in daily briefings and not allowed questions during the President’s rare press conferences.

    While officials from the Broadcasting Board of Governors have repeatedly appealed to the National Security Council staff and most recently to White House press secretary Jay Carney for air time with the President, nothing seems to have changed. The BBC remains the White House’s medium of choice, while VOA executives and reporters are left fuming and frustrated.

    One possible explanation is that the White House shuns VOA and other U.S. international broadcasting as embarrassing relics of the Cold War past, out of tune with its progressive political message. Yet the President’s 2012 budget proposes to spend $767 million on U.S. international broadcasting. At a time of record deficits, at the very least Americans should demand to get something more for their money.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    2 Responses to BBC Snags Second Obama Interview

    1. Ted Lipien says:

      You may be right in your analysis but there is another reason the Obama White House does not grant interviews to the Voice of America. The Boadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which runs VOA, had terminated all VOA radio broadcasts in Arabic and created instead semi-private broadcasting entities like Radio Sawa and Al Hurra Television, which do not use "America" in their names. The BBG also wants to end all VOA radio and TV broadcasts in Mandarin and Cantonese to China just as it had eliminated VOA radio and satellite TV broadcasts to Russia. The Voice of America is no longer a major international broadcaster.

    2. .dc, Florida says:

      Is the BBC that F U C king liberal to listen to this S H I Theadas if he really is making a difference in the lives of the world? The interview sounded just like all his scoicalistic inteviews-selected audience, selected questions and pre-defined answers. Whaqt horse sh i t is this What happened to true journalism finidng th etruth out of liars like this.

      BBC has lost my respect the same way the liberal idiots at NPR have. Jesus, have you and the world figured it out…this guy is NOT Jesus Christ!! He is not the dsavior of the world-he is not Mahatma Ghandi!!!! he is a lyinf Son of a B i t c h that only cares about his ego and his own A S S!…Youa dn the world tha believes in the F U C Khead should live in the USA and see where all his polcies have failed or are in failure!!!

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