A network under the federally funded United States Agency for Global Media, an agency whose mission is “to inform, engage, and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy,” produced a segment earlier this year that referred to George Soros as a “multimillionaire Jew” and accused him of being “the architect of the financial collapse of 2008,” according to Mother Jones.
The video segment, which aired in May, was produced by Radio Televisión Martí, a Spanish-language network that broadcasts news and propaganda to Cuba to promote US foreign policy interests. The Miami-based network is overseen by the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, which is part of the United States Agency for Global Media, an independent US government agency whose stated mission is “to inform, engage, and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy.”
The taxpayer-subsidized video portrays Soros as a threat to Latin American democracy. Featuring ominous music and images of street violence, the 15-minute video begins with the narration: “George Soros has his eye on Latin America. But Judicial Watch, an American investigative legal group, also has its eye on Soros and what it sees as his lethal influence to destroy democracies. It describes him as a millionaire investor and stock market speculator who exploits capitalism and Wall Street to finance anti-system movements that fill his pockets.” Judicial Watch, a right-wing group, is in the midst of a fundraising campaign called Expose Soros and has been looking for evidence that taxpayers are funding Soros’ advocacy work.
Office of Cuba Broadcasting Director Tomás P. Regalado said the segment was inappropriate due to its lack of balance:
“Judicial Watch is a good source, but having said that, it should not have been the only source. The two part series was not precise and did not have on the record sources to balance the story.” Regalado noted that he became OCB director on June 6, several weeks after the segment aired, and three days later he appointed a new news director and assignment editor.
“To be fair and to show that we in the new administration are committed to journalistic integrity, the stories have been pulled out of the digital page, not because we want to hide anything, but because we want to be transparent if we say that the story did not have the required balance, then it should not be on the air,” he said.
Mother Jones said the edited version describes Soros as “the multimillionaire Jew of Hungarian origin whose fortune is estimated at $8 billion” and later goes on to call him “a non-believing Jew of flexible morals.”
Two months before the Soros segment aired, the Washington Free Beaconreported that administration officials were angry that the Broadcasting Board of Governors seemed not to be promoting President Donald Trump’s agenda. In June, the White House announced that Trump was nominating conservative filmmaker Michael Pack to lead the BBG.
Pack reportedly has significant ties to former White House adviser Steve Bannon.
After Mother Jones’ story was published, John Lansing, the CEO of the United States Agency for Global Media, released a statement saying the employees responsible for the Soros video will be put on administrative leave while their conduct is investigated.
He said he was “personally and professionally offended by this example of unprofessionalism” and had asked Regalado to require ethics and standards training for all Office of Cuba Broadcasting journalists.