I would certainly be interested in hearing Steven R. Gerber's "Fanfare
for the Voice of A-M-E-R-I-C-A". I wonder, though, whether Gerber has
ever actually listened to the Voice of America. I did hear that it was
blocked inside the U.S. so that citizens could not hear what their own
shortwave radio station was broadcasting; that may be a myth. Does
I wonder how many listers have listened to VOA. When I was a shortwave
fan there were possibly only one or two programs worth listening to on
it. One of these was only of interest because it was in French and
extremely clear and powerful; had my French been better at that stage I
might have found it dull as well. The rest of it was, in a word, extremely
dull; there was also an impression of censorship operating. There was
never any criticism of government policy.
In contrast, BBC in those days was quite critical of the British
government and anyone else for that matter. Radio France International
was marvellously chaotic. Deustche Welle was very proper but interesting
I wonder if the Gerber piece conveys that sense of conservatism and
dullness. Maybe VOA has improved over the last two decades; I no longer
I should add there were three stations which were even more boring than
These stations did not censor the news so much as invent the news.
At least VOA news was not a complete fabrication - so far as I know.
Anyway, I suggest there would be no greater admirers of VOA than those
who have never listened to it. That's my AU$2 worth.
Leon Le Leu