The criticism of Michael Pack is unusual because it’s coming from supporters of President Donald Trump who had backed his controversial nomination to run the U.S. Agency for Global Media over staunch Democratic objections.
Pack, a conservative filmmaker and onetime associate of Trump adviser Steve Bannon, sacked both of them late Wednesday in a purge of USAGM’s outlets, which also include Radio Free Asia and the Cuba-focused Radio/TV Marti. Those moves have alarmed Democrats who fear Pack intends to turn the agency into a Trump administration propaganda machine.
In addition to Fernandez and Fly, Pack also removed the head of Radio Free Asia, Bay Fang, and the acting chief of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting on Wednesday. He replaced each outlet’s corporate board of directors with allies and installed himself as chairman of each.
The director and deputy director of the Voice of America, Amanda Bennett and Sandy Sugawara, resigned from their positions on Monday.