Thursday, September 8, 2016

Taxpayer-Funded Anti-Trump News on Azteca

Edgard Portela, "Taxpayer-Funded Anti-Trump News on Azteca,"

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The Obama administration’s recent expenditure of tens of millions of dollars to spur immigrants to become citizens and vote this November isn’t the only evidence that taxpayer funds are possibly being used to favor the election of Hillary Clinton.
In fact, there’s even more direct evidence available by simply taking a look at taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA) reporting that is rebroadcast domestically to Spanish-language viewers of Azteca America, the U.S. subsidiary of one of Mexico’s top television networks.
Such was the case during a recent report on the U.S. presidential campaign by VOA correspondent Gonzalo Abarca, who characterized the Republican presidential candidate as “having offended Mexicans, and in addition Latinos, calling them rapists and drug addicts” and also slammed Trump for his “bilious comments trying to erode Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.” 
Abarca’s politically-charged report was aired during Azteca America’s principal national evening newscast. Presumably, Abarca’s reports for Azteca don’t always reveal who he works for, but in this report, it clearly does, as he signs off the report as “Gonzalo Abarca, Voice of America, Washington.”
The Voice of America is part of the United States’ massive “public diplomacy” apparatus and is funded to the tune of over $200 million per year by American taxpayers. One would expect the VOA to be more careful to avoid peddling any partisan talking points as “objective reporting” during a presidential election year, as well as adhere to its congressionally-mandated charter and established journalistic code to “avoid imbalance or bias in their broadcasts.”
Incidentally, up until just a few years ago, it would have been illegal for VOA material to be broadcast domestically. To prevent the United States Government from using the Voice of America as a domestic propaganda arm, shortly after its creation in the 1940s Congress passed the Smith-Mundt Act, which forbade the broadcast of VOA material inside the United States.
This changed during the Obama administration, in July 2013, when the National Defense Authorization Act repealed the Smith-Mundt Act. However, if VOA material such as this is now, in effect, being used and spread as domestic partisan propaganda, it may very well be high time to reinstate the old prohibition or one like it, to prevent such abuses.

Below is the transcript of the referenced report by the VOA, which aired during the August 26, 2016 national evening newscast of Azteca America, Hechos Nacional Tarde:

6:31:12 PM - 6:33:10 PM EST | 1 MIN 38 SEC
ROBERTO RUIZ, ANCHOR, AZTECA AMERICA: And look, after many days where speculation about a possible change of tone on the subject of immigration, Trump assured in an interview to CNN that his position has not softened, but hardened. However, in his meetings with Hispanics, as you know and we have documented, demonstrates another face, his rhetoric is different. Gonzalo Abarca informs us.

GONZALO ABARCA, CORRESPONDENT, VOICE OF AMERICA: Donald Trump, now proud to be among Hispanics and people of African descent, a meeting among friends, according to him. A meeting that takes place twelve months after having offended Mexicans, and in addition Latinos, calling them rapists and drug addicts. The Republicans know that without the Hispanic vote, Trump faces a steep climb to get to the Oval Office. For that reason, the strategy now seems to be one of backing away from the recalcitrant position taken months ago of deporting without any contemplation 11 million undocumented [immigrants].

DANA BASH, CNN: [translated to Spanish] Does this plan include a deportation force?

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: [translated to Spanish] To be determined.

GONZALO ABARCA, CORRESPONDENT, VOICE OF AMERICA: The idea of this deportation force has been shelved, and in its place, bilious comments trying to erode Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, whom he accused specifically of being untruthful.


GONZALO ABARCA, CORRESPONDENT, VOICE OF AMERICA: Trump continues hammering the ex-Secretary of State for her participation in the Clinton Foundation.

DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN NOMINEE FOR PRESIDENT: [translated to Spanish] They [Clinton Foundation] shouldn’t be taking donations from countries that influenced her completely.

GONZALO ABARCA, CORRESPONDENT, VOICE OF AMERICA: All of that accompanied by a press release that calls for the definitive closure of the Clinton Foundation. The candidate [Clinton] has taken advantage of Trump’s apparent inconsistency with Hispanics and has released a campaign ad where it is insisted that Trump would be unstable and dangerous if he were given access to state secrets. Gonzalo Abarca, Voice of America, Washington.​

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