17:50 GMT27 November 2020
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    A US government-funded radio and TV station in Miami directed at Cuba has fired eight staff members it says are responsible for a program that aired last year calling George Soros a “non-practicing Jew of flexible morals” who was the “architect of the financial collapse of 2008.”

    The Office of Cuba Broadcasting's Radio and Television Marti, sister broadcasters to Voice of America and other US Agency for Global Media outlets like Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia and Radio Farda, ran a three-part report on Soros last May that USAGM Director John Lansing characterized in a Wednesday statement as "blatantly anti-Semitic."

    The reports were broadcast in Spanish with the intent of being distributed across Cuban media, the Washington Post notes.

    Lansing said a months-long investigation into the broadcast and the events that led up to its airing concluded the video was "deeply offensive and wholly inconsistent with our professional standards and ethics. OCB should have never aired it."

    "A comprehensive human resources investigation of the incident is now complete. One employee and three contractors have been terminated to date, and the agency has initiated the standard disciplinary process for four additional OCB employees," Lansing continued. Four others were terminated immediately after the program was brought to the public light by The Cuban Triangle, a blog about Cuban issues run by an independent investigator, just days after Soros received a bomb threat last October.

    "On its face, these reports were anti-Semitic and unjournalistic and violated our high standards of editorial content," Lansing told the Post. "We found the eight people who we felt were the most responsible."

    Lansing told the paper the incident was "purely a matter of a rogue journalist who was being supervised poorly that allowed that terrible piece of content to be published," and that "there was no connection to anyone in the Trump administration, period."

    While Lansing said that the writer responsible for the story had used right-wing watchdog Judicial Watch as a source, the organization said it never spoke to a Martí reporter, and that while it does criticize Soros for his "radical left-wing agenda" that he subsidizes via a network of activist group funding sources, it doesn't do so on the basis of his religious or ethnic identity.

    The 88-year-old Soros, a Holocaust survivor from Budapest who manages hedge funds and other investment firms in New York, is worth an estimated $8.3 billion. He is perhaps best known for his Open Society Foundations, grantmaking networks that sponsor civil society groups around the world. The group's name is inspired by philosopher Karl Popper's 1945 book "The Open Society and its Enemies," a book highly critical of governmental attempts to suppress free speech and free association. OSF has made Soros the victim of no shortage of conspiracy theories that play into, and often base themselves on, anti-Semitic tropes about secret Jewish cabals and bankers manipulating events around the globe.

    Brian Becker on Sputnik Radio's Loud and Clear made the point last October that while it's true that Soros is very closely aligned with the Democratic Party establishment and donates large amounts of money to organizations that encourage certain pro-Democratic types of political action, "95 or more percent of the demonstrations in this country against Trump's policies" are not orchestrated by Soros; the idea of Soros as a puppeteering mastermind is "false; that's actually ‘fake news.'"


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    astroturfing, conspiracy theory, writer, editor, fired, punishment, broadcast, anti-Semitism, Radio Free Asia, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, George Soros, Miami, Cuba
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