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Senator Vance Slams Biden Administration’s Silence On Polish Government Attacks On Press Freedom

“The firings of personnel at Telewizja Polska (TVP), Polskie Radio, and the Polish Press Agency, initiated promptly after Prime Minister Donald Tusk and his political allies took power, raise questions about this new government’s commitment to media freedom and the rule of law.”

WASHINGTON D.C. – Senator JD Vance (R-OH) sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressing concern over actions taken by the Polish government against personnel at Polish public broadcast networks, including Telewizja Polska (TVP), Polskie Radio, and the Polish Press Agency. In his letter, Senator Vance urges the Biden administration to encourage Prime Minister Tusk’s government to reconsider its actions.

Senator Vance’s letter reads, in part:

“I write to express concern about actions recently taken by Poland’s new government against influential Polish public broadcasters. The firings of personnel at Telewizja Polska (TVP), Polskie Radio, and the Polish Press Agency, initiated promptly after Prime Minister Donald Tusk and his political allies took power, raise questions about this new government’s commitment to media freedom and the rule of law.

“Reuters reports that in December 2023, ‘Tusk’s government took a public news channel off the air and dismissed executives from state media, saying the move was designed to restore impartiality.’ According to a December 23, 2023 Associated Press article, “[t]he culture minister replaced the heads of state media and TVP Info, a 24-hour news network, which went off air on Wednesday and is not yet broadcasting again […] Poles have been debating whether [Tusk’s] government was setting new negative examples in the way it took control over public media…

“Biden administration officials, at least publicly, have said nothing. This was not the case when Trump administration officials’ actions—which did not involve taking a major network off air—were nonetheless characterized in strikingly similar terms …

“It is not immediately obvious how the Biden administration’s silence on the situation in Poland can be reconciled with past administration rhetoric regarding press freedom in Central Europe. Indeed, in recent years administration officials have appeared eager to comment on the state of media in neighboring countries, particularly Hungary after its citizens elected a conservative government …

“Some have wondered whether appeals to press freedom and the rule of law are used as a reminder of values which must be committed to or as cudgels with which to call down the wrath of international institutions and non-governmental organizations upon political opponents. It is my hope that it will always be the former, but I fear the reaction to Prime Minister Tusk’s handling of the media may suggest otherwise.

“The United States and Poland have traditionally enjoyed close bilateral relations reinforced by our shared appreciation for liberty and democracy. Poland is a valuable ally and one of the few countries to meet its two percent NATO defense spending benchmark in 2023. I urge you to encourage Poland’s new government to reconsider any actions that could undermine it or the freedoms Polish and American citizens both hold dear.”

Read the full letter here and below. Read more from Breitbart here.