by Tim Cushing
Mon, Jul 15th 2013 1:15pm
The US government has a bit of a PR problem at the moment, thanks to Ed Snowden’s leaks and a decade-plus of general antipathy towards its constituents’ rights and liberties growing out of its War on Terror.
Fortunately, the government now has a chance to aim its official version of today’s news at US citizens, thanks to the repeal of a so-called “anti-propaganda” law earlier this month.
For decades, a so-called anti-propaganda law prevented the U.S. government’s mammoth broadcasting arm from delivering programming to American audiences. But on July 2, that came silently to an end with the implementation of a new reform passed in January. The result: an unleashing of thousands of hours per week of government-funded radio and TV programs for domestic U.S. consumption in a reform initially criticized as a green light for U.S. domestic propaganda efforts.
The Broadcast Board of Governors, which produces programming like the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, has been prevented from aiming its programming at Americans since the 1970’s when the Smith-Mundt Act (which authorized the State Dept. to communicate with foreign audiences via many methods, radio being one of them) was amended to prohibit domestic dissemination of the BBG’s broadcasts. This was done to distance the State Department’s efforts from the internal propaganda machine operated by the Soviet Union.