Open Society’s Sarah Margon to be Asst Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (State/DRL)

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On April 23, 2021 President Biden announced his intent to nominate Sarah Margon to be Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.  The WH released the following brief bio:
Sarah Margon, Nominee for Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Department of State
Sarah Margon currently serves as the U.S. Foreign Policy Director at the Open Society Foundations. Previously, she served as Washington Director and, before that, Deputy Washington Director for Human Rights Watch. Margon also was Associate Director for Sustainable Security and Peacebuilding at the Center for American Progress and Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to Senator Russ Feingold and Staff Director for the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs. Earlier in her career she was Humanitarian and Conflict Policy advisor for Oxfam America. Margon holds an M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a B.A. in American Studies from Wesleyan University.
According to history.state.gov, on Apr 21, 1975, in response to growing Congressional interest in human rights issues in foreign policy, the Department of State established the position of Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs.  The International Security Assistance and Arms Export Control Act of 1976 (Jun 30, 1976; P.L. 94-329; 90 Stat. 748) made the Coordinator a Presidential appointee, subject to the advice and consent of the Senate, and changed the title to Coordinator for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs. Career diplomat James Morrison Wilson Jr. served as the first Coordinator from 1976–1977.  Section 162 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1994 and 1995 (P.L. 103-236; 108 Stat. 403), authorized the appointment of an Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor May 12, 1994.
If confirmed, Ms. Margon would succeed Robert A. Destro who served from 2019-2021. Previous appointees to this position include Patricia Murphy Derian (1977–1981), Elliott Abrams (1981–1985), Harold Hongju Koh (1998–2001) and Tomasz P. Malinowski (2014–2017).

USG-Funded Radio Televisión Martí Targets American Philanthropist George Soros

 

On October 26, Mother Jones reported that Radio Televisión Martí went after George Soros in a two-part piece that aired in May 2018. The hit piece called the philanthropist a “multimillionaire Jew” and “the architect of the financial collapse of 2008.” The Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB) oversees Radio and Television Martí at its headquarters in Miami.  The U.S. Agency for Global Media (formerly BBG), a U.S. taxpayer-funded entity oversees OCB.  The videos have been taken down but are still available on YouTube here and here.  The State Department’s Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs serves as the Secretary of State’s representative on the Board.  Heather Nauert became Acting Under Secretary on March 13, 2018 until October 10. 2018. As of this writing, we have not seen anything out of the State Department regarding these segments targeting a private American citizen.

On October 29, CEO John Lansing who joined BBG in 2015 released a statement that says in part the following:

“It was brought to my attention this weekend that the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB), which is overseen by the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), earlier this year aired a video segment about George Soros that is inconsistent with our professional standards and ethics. USAGM networks’ content is required to adhere to the highest standards of professional journalism.

Those deemed responsible for this production will be immediately placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into their apparent misconduct. Disciplinary action appropriate under federal law may then be proposed, including the potential removal of those responsible, depending on the outcome of that investigation.

Via MJ:

Tomás P. Regalado, the director of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, told Mother Jones in an email, “Judicial Watch is a good source, but having said that, it should not have been the only source. The two part series was not precise and did not have on the record sources to balance the story.” Regalado noted that he became OCB director on June 6, several weeks after the segment aired, and three days later he appointed a new news director and assignment editor.

“To be fair and to show that we in the new administration are committed to journalistic integrity, the stories have been pulled out of the digital page, not because we want to hide anything, but because we want to be transparent if we say that the story did not have the required balance, then it should not be on the air,” he said.

Holy guacamole! Senator Flake tweeted “TV Marti director says its program on George Soros lacked “balance.” Sorry, there is no balance that makes anti-Semitism right. BBG must investigate how such programming was produced and and why it aired.”

OCB has an annual budget of $28.1 million, it has 117 employees, and an audience estimated at 1 million.

AND NOW THIS —

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