Eddie Janusz replies to me:
>>during the Solidarity crisis in Poland, the US government made a huge
>>mistake by airing a broadcast intended for VOA audiences to the US one.
>How did they air this to the US audience? I don't remember that
>particular incident, but Solidarity would have been in the Reagan
>administration, a low point in VoA's history. Better management was
>brought in mid-decade and they returned to being reliable, though not
>as widely listened to as the Beeb.
They simply aired it on one of the networks. It was originally intended
for broadcast to the Eastern bloc. I have no idea what was behind the
decision to put it on the domestic air or how that was actually achieved.
I did see it, however - or as much of it as I could stand. I had no
problem with the message - essentially, let the Poles decide their own
future in a democratic way - but the writing was bloody awful and the
thought simplistic to the point of your average Schwarzenegger movie.
>VoA _was_ popular in Eastern Europe, largely due to (zounds! a musical
>theme!) legendary jazz programme host Willis Conover. Few Polish, Czech,
>or Russian jazz artists are well known in the United States, but
>adventurous musicians built an underground network around Coltrane and
>the hard-bop artists whose records they heard via VoA.
Conover happens to be a legend in his own country as well, at least among
jazz fans (a bunch almost as small as the one for classical music). He
not only did VoA, but domestic network radio.