‘Free Press’? USAID Increases Funding to Pro-Kiev Media

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare

In the name of a “free and independent media,” the US government through its Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced that it will dedicate an additional $1.25 million to subsidize the Ukrainian media in advance of the May 25th presidential election.

Through its multi-year “U-Media” project, USAID has been a major sponsor of the Ukrainian press. It goes without saying that the media outlets and organizations underwritten by the US government in Ukraine adhere closely to the US government’s foreign policy position in the country and region. There will be no US government support for alternative media when it favors the government in power.

The infusion of more than a million dollars into US government-friendly media outlets and NGOs in Ukraine just weeks before the presidential election should be seen for what it is: direct external manipulation of the democratic process in Ukraine.

Nevertheless, the US interference is advertised as “supporting platforms for free and open communications.”

But USAID makes it clear which side this project is intended to support:

USAID is supporting the Government of Ukraine as it implements constitutional and electoral reforms that fulfill its stated goal of becoming a fully inclusive and economically stable democracy.

It is an attack on language itself for the US government to claim that the media it funds is “independent,” as that belies the meaning of the term. Nevertheless the State Department continues to waterboard the English language:

‘USAID supports a strong and independent media in Ukraine,’ said Paige Alexander, Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Europe and Eurasia (E&E). ‘This additional funding will help to protect vulnerable journalists while also advancing press freedoms and democratic governance in Ukraine.’

At a time when US Secretary of State John Kerry and his State Department continues to attack the Russian-government funded station RT for being state supported, it should be instructive to witness the hundreds of pro-Washington media outlets that are funded by the US government overseas. It should be instructive to see the electoral processes that are manipulated by the US government’s cash infusion to the side it favors.

Pot. Kettle. Black.

Follow me on Twitter.

10:09 am on May 3, 2014
  • LRC Blog

  • LRC Podcasts