Tag: Howard Fast

Voice of America New York
Cold War, Featured, Glos Ameryki, Highlights, History, International Broadcasting, OWI, Poland, Radio, Russia, VOA, VOA80

Beware of Government Propaganda “Experts”

Disinformation governance by government propaganda experts can be dangerous, judging by the record of the early officials in charge of the Voice of America and journalists duped by Soviet propaganda. As the Voice of America (VOA), the United States government’s radio station for international audiences, observes its eightieth anniversary in 2022, it may surprise some Americans, assuming they have heard…

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Featured, Highlights, History, International Broadcasting, OWI, VOA, VOA80

VOA at 80: Selling “the religion of democracy” was Voice of America’s first mission statement

80 years ago today, on February 1, 1942, the first Voice of America (VOA) radio broadcast in German may have gone on the air. There is some uncertainty as to the exact date of the first VOA radio transmission, and the programs did not acquire the official Voice of America name until several years later. Selling “the religion of democracy”…

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Featured, Highlights, History, International Broadcasting, OWI, Russia, VOA, VOA80

VOA at 80: Different Names of the Voice of America

80 years ago today, on February 1, 1942, the first Voice of America (VOA) radio broadcast in German may have gone on the air. There is some uncertainty as to the exact date in February 1942. Moreover, for the first several years, the name “Voice of America” was not yet used. The early broadcasts had various names, such as “America…

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OWI Press Release, Wallace Carroll, London Office Appointment, August 13, 1942.
Cold War, Highlights, History, International Broadcasting, OWI, Poland, RFE, Russia, VOA, VOA80

Voice of America Fellow Travelers Who Spread Soviet Propaganda – Wallace Carroll

One of Voice of America’s fellow travelers who spread Soviet propaganda lies in VOA’s early years was a celebrated American journalist, Wallace Carroll. Commentary By Ted Lipien The Voice of America (VOA), the U.S. taxpayer-funded broadcaster with a budget of $252 million (FY20) in the federal U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), plans to observe in February its 80th anniversary.…

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Voice of America at 80 – Howard Fast OWI Personnel Record Card
Cold War, History, International Broadcasting, OWI, VOA, VOA80

Voice of America at 80 – VOA’s Pro-Soviet Fellow Travelers and Lessons for Today

Voice of America at 80 – the hidden record of VOA’s pro-Soviet fellow travelers, Howard Fast and John Houseman, offers lessons for today Commentary By Ted Lipien The Voice of America (VOA), the U.S. taxpayer-funded international broadcaster with a budget of $252 million (FY20) in the federal U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), plans to observe in February its 80th…

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Voice of America (VOA) Latin American Division Spanish Service graphic posted as VOA Spanish Facebook page cover image following the death in 2016 of Cuban communist leader Fidel Castro. The Voice of America is part of the $800-million (average annual budget) federal U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM).
Cold War, Glos Ameryki, Highlights, History, International Broadcasting, Poland, Russia, VOA, VOA80

Symbolic Justice for Stalin’s Victims, But Not Yet From Voice of America Management

Commentaries about Stalin’s victims, Voice of America By Ted Lipien (Tadeusz Lipień) In my Washington Examiner Christmas Day op-ed, and in my post about Polish artist, writer, and witness of genocide Józef Czapski, I write about Stalin’s victims and the Voice of America (VOA) in the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM). I am an East European refugee from communism.…

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Józef Czapski in 1942
Cold War, Glos Ameryki, History, International Broadcasting, Poland, Russia, VOA, VOA80

Censored by Voice of America in 1950, re-interviewed in the 1980s, Józef Czapski gets a plaque in Prague

Censored by Voice of America in 1950, re-interviewed in the 1980s, Józef Czapski gets a plaque in Prague By Ted Lipien On December 21, 2021, a plaque at Józef Czapski’s birthplace in Prague, the Czech Republic, was unveiled in a ceremony attended by ambassadors from Poland, the Holy See, Lithuania, and Estonia. The Embassy of Italy, which now occupies the…

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Cold War, History, International Broadcasting, OWI, Russia, VOA

George Soros’ building in NYC saw Voice of America’s early love affair with Stalin

By Ted Lipien for Cold War Radio Museum The Argonaut Building in New York City at 224 West 57 and Broadway, where first Voice of America (VOA) radio programs were produced in 1942, is now the headquarters of Open Society Foundations (OSF), formerly the Open Society Institute, originally created and funded by billionaire investor and philanthropist  George Soros to help countries move…

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Cold War, Featured, OWI, VOA

Voice of America? – Why The Question Mark?

In 1948, Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Senate charged that Voice of America (VOA) broadcasts contained “baloney,” “lies,” “insults,” “drivel,” “nonsense and falsehoods,” amounting to “useless expenditures” and “a downright tragedy.”

In 1948, U.S. senators called VOA programs “ridiculous,” “unjustified” and “deplorable.” Liberal, moderate, and conservative lawmakers, some of whom even accused the Voice of America of “slander” and “libel” in how several U.S. states were described in radio programs acquired from NBC under a government contract, did not seek to de-fund and close down VOA but wanted to make it more effective in presenting America to the world and in countering propaganda from Soviet Russia. Their criticism eventually led to partial personnel and programming reforms in the early 1950s. In 2019, history seems to be repeating itself, with similar problems being reported at the Voice of America as the United States tries to respond to propaganda from Putin’s Russia, communist China, theocratic Iran and other nations under authoritarian rule. Today, there is little interest in the U.S. Congress and no obvious signs of management reforms, while some of the problems seem now more difficult to solve than those besetting the broadcaster in 1948.

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Featured, History, VOA

Stalin Prize-Winning Chief Writer of Voice of America News

Cold War Radio Museum

The News Bureau room of the Office of War Information (OWI), November 1942, at about the same time Howard Fast started writing Voice of America newscasts. The photograph’s official caption said: “It is arranged much the same way as the city room of a daily newspaper. Here, war news of the world is disseminated. In the foreground, are editors’ desks handling such special services as trade press, women’s activities, and campaigns. The news desk is in the background.” Smith, Roger, photographer. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540.

VOA logo, 2019.
Yankee Doodle Voice of America (VOA) signature tune reportedly proposed by VOA chief news writer (1942-1943) Howard Fast who later received the 1953 Stalin International Peace Prize.

 “I established contact at the Soviet embassy with people who spoke English and were willing to feed me important bits and pieces from their side of the wire. I had long ago, somewhat facetiously, suggested ‘Yankee Doodle’ as our musical signal, and now that silly little jingle was a power cue, a note of hope everywhere on earth…” 1

Howard Fast, 1953 Stalin Peace Prize winner, best-selling author, journalist, former Communist Party member and reporter for its newspaper The Daily Worker, decribing his role as the chief writer of Voice of America (VOA) radio news translated into multiple languages and rebroadcast for four hours daily to Europe through medium wave transmitters leased from the BBC in 1942-1943. Howard Fast, Being Red (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1990), pp. 18-19.

Notes:

  1. Howard Fast, Being Red (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1990), 18-19.
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