The dog that didn’t bark: Mullahs cover hearing on VOA, but don’t comment on regime bias
The mullahs’ reporting of the April 7 US congressional hearing about pro-regime bias at the Voice of America reads like Sherlock Holmes’ case of the dog that didn’t bark. In solving a murder mystery, Holmes reasoned that because the dog at the victim’s home didn’t bark, it must have known the killer. By deduction, the great detective solved the mystery.
Several propaganda websites of the mullahs ran a story about the hearing, where lawmakers’ main focus was about how VOA’s Persian-language PNN service shows bias against the US and in favor of the Islamic Republic. The websites – Mashregh News, Vadeh Sadegh, Anti Devil, Melal News, Adyan News and others – ran a photo of the hearing that they ripped off from IranChannel.org.
The storyline focused on two of the mullahs’ complaints. The first is that VOA is promoting a line that celebrates Iran’s pre-Islamic heritage and promotes Persian nationalism by using the name “Persia.” That’s the same line the mullahs are taking against a fellow hardliner of a different stripe, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The second mullah complaint is that VOA is promoting American culture and lifestyles.
The real story here is the fact that the mullahs covered the testimony of the only two witnesses quoted by IranChannel yet ignored what they said about problems within VOA/PNN that benefit the mullahs themselves. Those two witnesses were those most prominent in our picture: Confederation of Iranian Students leader Amir Abbas Fakhravar, a former political prisoner under the regime; and Broadcasting Board of Governors member Enders Wimbush, who is working mightily to reform VOA/PNN.
Nothing about complaints about the Islamic Republic’s alleged agents of influence inside VOA/PNN.
Like the dog that didn’t bark.