CUSIB’s Ann Noonan at Dec. 18, 2014 BBG meeting VIDEO

Ann Noonan, Executive Director of the Committee for International Broadcasting (CUSIB)

Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB – cusib.org) Executive Director Ann Noonan, speaking at the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) board meeting on December 18, 2014 in Washington, DC, addressed a number of issues. They included Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB) Radio and TV Marti illegally RIFed journalists who have not yet been rehired and management problems within the Voice of America (VOA).

Link to Video

In her presentation to the BBG board, Noonan expressed concern about the plight of the employees of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting who were illegally fired 5 years ago. Noonan also spoke about “the very disturbing presentation” Voice of America Director David Ensor “made to ridicule the efforts of former BBG Governor Ambassador Victor Ashe, former BBG employees (former senior Voice of America English correspondents), as well as a Jehovah’s Witnesses publication.”

CUSIB EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ANN NOONAN “It is unconscionable for any federal employee to demonstrate religious intolerance in a punchline and expect his underlings to enjoy the jab. A holiday party is no excuse. There are tasteful ways of making fun — usually at oneself if you are a VOA Director — and this was NOT one of those times. It’s extraordinary for the Director of a U.S. taxpayer-funded broadcaster to mock an independent U.S. media outlet and independent U.S. journalists. It’s so ugly for anyone who stands for freedom to mock American public input and public opinion.”

Noonan expressed appreciation for “the efforts of Radio Free Asia Cantonese Service for their exclusive interview about Chen Qi Tang.” Noonan vowed to “continue to advocate for more funding for surrogate broadcasting.”

Full text of Ann Noonan’s statement:

CUSIB would like to welcome the three new BBG Governors: Ambassador Karen Kornbluh, Mr. Michael Kempner and Dr. Leon Aron and extend to them any assistance our organization might be able to provide. We wish the very best to Governor Michael Meehan has he departs the BBG. He will be missed.

CUSIB remains concerned about the plight of the employees of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting who were illegally fired 5 years ago. The part of the arbitrator’s mandate for the workers to be reinstated has still been ignored by the BBG. It is rumored that OCB intends to put these talented journalists and workers on administrative leave. They have only received part of the compensation that is due to them. In regard to the case of Mr. Luis Guardia, he has been completely left out. On November 21, AFGE Local 1812 filed the appropriate motion on his behalf, and still we wait. The BBG has torn apart the lives of these federal government employees, and we were assured in June that this would all be resolved by August. It’s December. Now, when so much will be changing in regard to US/Cuba relations with President Obama’s restoration of diplomatic ties, how much more timely could it be than now to bring back these seasoned journalists.

CUSIB remains concerned that the BBG has not yet settled it’s overseas discrimination lawsuits brought against Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty by its former foreign employees in Prague, an Armenian citizen Anna Karapetian, and a Croatian national, Snjezana Pelivan. Will these cases ever get resolved and what role can CUSIB play to help?

CUSIB will be filing a FOIA request to the Voice of America seeking all and any electronic video and audio copies and any emails that VOA Director David Ensor might have sent and/or received about the very disturbing presentation he made to ridicule the efforts of former BBG Governor Ambassador Victor Ashe, former BBG employees, as well as a Jehovah’s Witnesses publication. It is unconscionable for any federal employee to demonstrate religious intolerance in a punchline and expect his underlings to enjoy the jab. A holiday party is no excuse. There are tasteful ways of making fun — usually at oneself if you are a VOA Director — and this was NOT one of those times.

It’s extraordinary for the Director of a U.S. taxpayer-funded broadcaster to mock an independent U.S. media outlet and independent U.S. journalists.

It’s so ugly for anyone who stands for freedom to mock American public input and public opinion. Ted Lipien works very hard as an American to help improve an agency that even according to the Wall Street Journal, has degraded. Ted is hardly an egotist. He is more than generous with his time and effort to help promote human rights and workers rights. How many people at this table have privately emailed, phoned and met with Ted Lipien for hours and hours of free advice? His knowledge on BBG matters is invaluable and you all know it.

I’d like to try to leave on a high note and say how much CUSIB appreciates the efforts of Radio Free Asia Cantonese Service for their exclusive interview about Chen Qi Tang. We will continue to advocate for more funding for surrogate broadcasting.

CUSIB hopes 2015 will bring more order and progress to the BBG.

Thank you.

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