VOA Persian Interview with its New Director, Ramin Asgard
Millions of Iranians on Friday watched Asgard interviewed in VOA Persian's popular political satire show, Parazit, with disbelief, as the new director was resigned to begging the Iranian regime not to jam their satellite channels.
Asgard, who is of Iranian heritage, struggled to conduct the interview in Persian, first making a complete mess of trying to explain why Hilary Clinton did not show up on the station as had been promised. The real comedy however started when Asgard was asked why VOA Persian is no longer on Hotbird, and Asgard again struggling even worse than before to speak in Persian, explained how the Satellite company, EutelSat, had decided to kick out the satellite channels which get jammed by the Iranian government, i.e punish the victims and not the offenders. Then came the most stomach churning part of the interview, VOA Persian's new director begged the Iranian regime, 'Please for God's sake if you want our programs to continue, allow satellites to operate freely, please stop jamming us'!! I can just imagine how delighted the officials of the Islamic Republic became when they watched this bit, just as a bully would get intoxicated with joy when his victim starts pleading and begging for mercy. I can also however imagine how despondent people in Iran became when they watched the new director of the VOA Persian brought down on his knees, unable to do anything against IRI's violation of satellite broadcasting other than beg them for mercy.
When Asgard was asked why he had been appointed as the new director of VOA even though he has no news broadcasting experience, he replied that he had the necessary blend of experience in diplomacy and politics, management and knowledge of Iran. A reply which reminded me of the Iranian proverb 'In a city of blind people, the one eyed man is hailed as king'.
Finally the format of the show allows the host one minute to say whatever they want, I just wish on this occasion it made an exception.