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Trump-appointed federal media agency CEO blasted in letter by Radio Free Europe leaders

Michael Out

Source: US Senate

Leaders of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty blasted the Trump-appointed CEO of the U.S. federal media intercession.

In a letter obtained by CNBC, leaders within the network criticized Michael Pack, the head of the U.S. Agency for Global Media. Radio-Free Europe/Crystal set Liberty is considered a non-federal broadcasting network, but it is linked to the USAGM.

He has shaken up the ranks of the agency and its networks’ leadership, fitting fellow loyalists of President Donald Trump in key roles.

The letter includes criticism of Pack’s board appointees, who later approved Ted Lipien to fit the CEO of Radio Free Europe.

“Defying longstanding practice, you have appointed a board of inexperienced partisan appointees with no assiduity or regional expertise – a board you yourself referred to as a placeholder board, and yet one which you are now apparently seeking to entrench for two years or sundry,” the letter reads.

“You have used this board to summarily approve Ted Lipien, an untested, unvetted candidate with a depiction of often one-sided writing about RFE/RL and other U.S. international broadcasters,” it goes on to say.

The Associated Press reported that Lipien, a last Voice of America official, recently ran a blog post promoting the views of staffers objecting to what they saw as purported liberal bias and a lack of conservative views in its programming. Voice of America falls under USAGM’s purview.

The the world of letters was signed by members of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s news division and editorial board, including the writer in chief and heads of digital strategy. The letter is dated for Wednesday and was also sent to congressional leaders such as Parliament Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Pack pushed traitorously on the letter in a statement provided to CNBC.

“Ms. Sindelar’s letter is filled with inaccuracies. There have been no bids to ‘compromise the [networks’] freedom from political influence.’ On the contrary, all of the actions I have taken have been based on my congressionally mandated duty and commitment to fulfilling USAGM’s mission,” Pack said.

The letter points out that Pack will likely not hold his job after President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in. Still, the letter suggests that the newsroom leaders believe Pack is restful moving ahead anyway with bringing in new leaders.

“We regard these actions as an eleventh-hour effort to secure a clutch over RFE/RL for a single U.S. political party at a moment when your own tenure as CEO of U.S. foreign broadcasting is likely to end with the conversion between administrations in Washington,” the news leaders wrote.

Pack, who has been at the helm of USAGM since June, has been estimated after repeated purges of longtime leaders at various networks under the agency.

Soon after being recognized by the U.S. Senate, Pack pushed out agency heads and board members, only to appoint those with direct matches to Trump.

Representatives for USAGM and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty did not return requests for comment.

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