Michael Pack, a conservative filmmaker who recently took over a United States global media agency, removed the chiefs of four news organizations under its purview (Bay Fang of Radio Free Asia; Jamie Fly of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty; Alberto M. Fernandez of Middle East Broadcasting Networks; Emilio Vazquez of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting), according to people with knowledge of the decision, in an action that raises questions about their editorial independence.
Senate Republican leaders, under pressure from President Donald Trump to install an ally who would dictate more favorable news coverage of his administration, are moving to swiftly confirm a conservative filmmaker to lead the independent agency in charge of state-funded media outlets.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo escalated his clash with a respected National Public Radio journalist Mary Loui Kelly on Jan 25, lashing out at her and what he called the “unhinged” news media in an extraordinary statement. A day earlier, he abruptly ended an interview with her and delivered what the news outlet described as a profanity-laced rant. The statement, which used the fiery language to attack the news media that has become a trademark of President Donald Trump and his allies, ignited outrage online among foreign policy experts, scholars of diplomacy and press freedom advocates.