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Taxpayer-Funded VOA Does It Again, Fails To Remove Or Correct Pro-Biden Videos

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Voice of America employees are at it again and it appears that the agency’s management has failed to correct or remove numerous promotional videos for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden from its taxpayer-funded platform.

SaraACarter.com has published several reports over the past month concerning stories approved by VOA Urdu management that promoted Biden for president. The political ads targeted both Muslims in Pakistan, India and in the United States.

But now another VOA video promoting Biden for president to French and African viewers has surfaced.

On Wednesday, Dan Robinson at the watchdog group BBG exposed the story and how managers at VOA are continuing to allow videos supporting Biden to be published on the taxpayer-funded platform.

For example, VOA recently “allowed video content prematurely describing the wife of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as ‘the future first lady’ to remain online for days despite complaints and warnings to employees about the need to exercise caution during the U.S. political campaign.”

The  video in question, said Robinson, appeared in a program on VOA’s French to Africa service.  According to BBG, the original report was produced at VOA’s central newsroom, “where writers produce material that is sent throughout VOA for translation by numerous language services for their broadcasts and websites.”

Last month, this news site revealed that VOA Urdu had created a promotional political advertisement for Biden that posted on its social media, both overseas and in the United States. The political ad used a speech Biden gave at an online rally with the Muslim Advocacy Group, Emgage Action. In that rally he addressed Muslim voters in the United States, asking for more than “one-million” of those voters to vote for him. The ad used Biden’s online promise to “end the Muslim ban on day one” if he is elected to office.There is no Muslim ban in the United States.

VOA Urdu employees are now under investigation by the agency after the story posted on this news site, according to an updated report.

The issue becomes extremely problematic because VOA, which was established in 1942, is considered the premier U.S. agency for global media outreach and is taxpayer-funded. In fact, the international broadcast entity has an average annual budget of roughly $234.7 million. The agency also employs roughly 1,078 people, as well as hundreds of foreign contractors. 

Read more from the government watchdog BBG here:

Viewers overseas and in the United States of VOA’s French to Africa programs — content that is available globally including to U.S. viewers though the agency by law cannot prepare or direct material for or to Americans — brought it to the attention of journalists.

It’s unclear whether the reference to Jill Biden was a mistake, an ambiguity, or deliberate.  A copy of the original script obtained from VOA’s central newsroom does not contain the reference to Biden’s wife as “future first lady”.   

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Cuomo says he’ll ‘fully cooperate’ with NY AG’s review of sexual harassment claims

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Wednesday that he will “fully cooperate” with the state attorney general’s independent review into sexual harassment allegations made against the currently scandal-ridden governor, saying, “I fully support a woman’s right to come forward.”

Last Wednesday, Lindsey Boylan, who served in his administration for over three years, accused Cuomo of suggesting to her on a 2017 flight that they play strip poker, inappropriate touching, and kissing her on the lips without her consent.

RELATED: ‘Let’s play strip poker’: Fmr. Cuomo aide accuses NY governor of sexual harassment

Following Boylan’s accusations, 25-year-old Charlotte Bennett alleged the governor indicated interest in having an affair with her while she was serving in his administration as a health policy adviser. In a Saturday New York Times report, Bennett told the newspaper that Cuomo asked her if she had “ever been with an older man,” adding that “age doesn’t matter” in relationships.

At Wednesday’s press briefing, the Empire State governor addressed the accusations leveled against him over the past seven days by three women and New York Attorney General Letitia James’ (D) independent review into those claims, which she announced on Monday was formally proceeding.

RELATED: De Blasio ‘sickened’ by Cuomo sexual harassment claims

“As you probably know, the attorney general is doing an independent review, and I will fully cooperate with that review,” Cuomo said at the beginning of his statement. “Now, the lawyers say I shouldn’t say anything when you have a pending review until that review is over. I understand that, I’m a lawyer, too. But, I want New Yorkers to hear from me directly on this.”

“First, I fully support a woman’s right to come forward,” the governor began. “And I think it should be encouraged in every way. I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it, and frankly I am embarrassed by it, and that’s not easy to say. But that’s the truth.”

This echoes what Cuomo said in a Sunday statement about the allegations, in which he stated he “may have been insensitive” during his tenure but charged his accusers of misinterpreting his actions, saying, “I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation… I am truly sorry about that.”

RELATED: Cuomo responds to sexual harassment claims, saying he ‘may have been insensitive’

During his Wednesday remarks, Cuomo iterated “I never touched anyone inappropriately,” repeated that sentence, then said “I never knew at the time that I was making anyone feel uncomfortable” and repeated that one too.

“And I certainly never, ever meant to offend anyone or hurt anyone or cause anyone any pain. That is the last thing I would ever want to do,” he continued. “I ask the people of this state to wait for the facts from the attorney general’s report before forming an opinion. Get the facts, please, before forming an opinion.”

“I also want you to know that I have learned from what has been an incredibly difficult situation for me as well as other people, and I’ve learned an important lesson,” the governor said at the end of his statement. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for whatever pain I caused anyone, I never intended it, and I will be the better for this experience.”

Amid Boylan and Bennett’s allegations, another report of Cuomo sexually harassing a woman has cropped up. On Monday, a woman named Anna Ruch accused the governor of placing his hands on her cheeks—without her consent—at a 2019 wedding reception and asking if he could kiss her. A photograph of the two together at the event has also been circulating on social media.

RELATED: ‘Eat the whole sausage: Gov. Cuomo in hot water for resurfaced video

Asked at Wednesday’s briefing about the pictures that have resurfaced of him being touchy with people, particularly that of him and Ruch, the governor claimed that it is his way of greeting people.

“I understand the opinion of—and feelings of—Ms. Ruch,” Cuomo said. “You can find hundreds of pictures of me making the same gesture with hundreds of people—women, children, men, etc. You can go find hundreds of pictures of me kissing people. […] It is my usual and customary way of greeting.”

Moreover, the governor said that his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, would do the same thing.

“By the way, it was my father’s way of greeting people,” Cuomo said, explaining, “You’re the governor of the state, you want people to feel comfortable, you want to reach out to them.”

He also mentioned that he kisses and hugs legislators and noted that at an event in Queens the other day he hugged pastors and state assembly members.

Furthermore, the governor said that his intent “doesn’t matter,” saying, “What it matters is if anybody was offended by it.”

“But if they were offended by it, then it was wrong,” he added, going on to say that if they were offended or hurt by it, he apologizes.

MORE ON CUOMO: NY dem says state legislature is ‘inching toward’ Cuomo impeachment probe

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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