LIONEL PODCAST: BBG Governor Blanquita Cullum on Andrew Lack’s RT Comments, Journalism and Fascinating Miscellany

Governor Cullum. Blanquita Cullum is my podguest today and refer you to her curriculum vitae infra. She and I share a fascination with information systems and the like which I detail herein as well as a reference point in talk radio and journalism and information systems.

Propaganda. I’m not one to usually quote Noam Chomsky but will make an exception here. His views on thought control and propaganda are worth noting. His 1989 work “Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies” borrows its title from the distinguished moralist and foreign affairs analyst Reinhold Niebuhr. He expresses the view that intellectuals create an emotionally potent oversimplification to delude and sway the public, who are naive simpletons. Necessary illusions keep them on course. Not the totalitarian regimes, mind you, who actually have less overt control, but the no-liberal keepers who protect the bewildered herds.

BBG. OMG! Earlier this week, the newly minted chief of the US Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), Andrew Lack, told the New York Times that RT poses a significant challenge for him and his organization, putting it on the same level as ISIS and Boko Haram terror groups. I kid you not.

We are facing a number of challenges from entities like Russia Today which is out there pushing a point of view, the Islamic State in the Middle East and groups like Boko Haram,” he said. “But I firmly believe that this agency has a role to play in facing those challenges.”

She knows a little something about the BBG. I’m pleased and honored to speak with my great friend Blanquita Cullum, who knows a little something about the subject, not to mention the state of broadcast journalism and information platforms in general.

For eight years, Blanquita Walsh Cullum served as a Governor on the United States Broadcasting Board of Governors BBG. Nominated by President George W. Bush in 2002, Governor Cullum is the first Hispanic woman and the first radio talk show host to have served on the BBG. The United States Senate unanimously confirmed her to that position. The BBG is the independent, federal agency responsible for all U.S. government and government-sponsored, non-military international broadcasting. The nine BBG members, including the Secretary of State, oversee the Voice of America, Radio Free Asia, Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty, Radio and Television Marti and the Middle Eastern Broadcast Network. She was the Chairperson of the Radio Free Asia Committee for six years, Chairperson of the Voice of America Committee, the Language Service Review Committee and Chairperson of the Communications Committee.

“The First Amendment has always meant freedom of speech and a variety of voices. A news outlet isn’t a terrorist,” Cullum told RT’s show, The Big Picture. “I may disagree vehemently with, for example, MSNBC, but I will always fight for their right to be heard because if they are not able to be heard, I am not able to be heard,” she explained. Hear! Hear!

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