Hook scorns anti-Iran outlet for not serving US well, wasting taxpayers funds
An official in charge of the Iran dossier at the White House has publicly hit out at a US-based Persian-language media outlet funded with taxpayers’ money to propagate against the Islamic Republic, demanding the pawns installed there do a “better job.”
According to Press TV, in an article published on the New York Post on Wednesday, Brian Hook said he “regularly” received complaints about Voice of America (VOA)’s Persian service.
“VOA Persian needs to do a better job of countering Iranian disinformation and propaganda,” he wrote.
"VOA’s congressionally funded Persian News Network received more than $17 million in taxpayer funds last year. But VOA is failing to represent America to Iran with fact-based content that is reliable and authoritative,” he added.
Hook, who is also a senior adviser to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, cited a 2017 assessment of VOA’s Persian programming by the nonpartisan American Foreign Policy Council, claiming it was biased in favor of the Iranian government.
He also referred to the non-profit organization’s 2019 follow-up analysis, which found that many of the recommendations it made in 2017 were not implemented.
The United States’ point man on Iran further complained that popular shows on VOA Persian are being suddenly canceled and replaced with lower quality programming.
VOA Persian “is failing to effectively communicate US policies to Persian-speaking audiences with the balance and accuracy required in a contested information environment,” he wrote.
Hook also highlighted “widespread mismanagement at the organization” and its failure to create an open workplace, saying a 2009 report found “widespread employee dissatisfaction” and allegations of favoritism and biased hiring.
“VOA and the agency that oversees it, the US Agency for Global Media (USAGM), are regularly ranked by their employees in confidential surveys as among the worst federal agencies to work for,” he added.
“The American people deserve to have taxpayer-funded programs advance their interests, and VOA Persian is no exception,” he added.
VOA Persian is part of a collection of other media outlets that have long been operating on behalf of the US and its allies — mainly staunch adversaries of Iran — and spewing anti-Iran propaganda.