Jewish US Media Executive and Propaganda Boss Jeff Shell Deported From Russia, Banned for Life
RUSSIAN AUTHORITIES detained and then deported a Jewish US media executive who is also the chief of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the US government propaganda outlet whose divisions include the so-called “Voice of America” and “Radio Free Europe,” the agency said Wednesday. This is the latest move amid heightening friction between the Washington regime and Moscow. The BBG has taken a stridently anti-Russian position historically, attempting to turn Russia’s neighbors — and Russians themselves — against Moscow, and has dramatically ramped up its rhetoric in recent months.
The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) said in a statement that its chairman, Jeff Shell (pictured), was denied entry into Russia on arriving at Moscow’s main international airport late Tuesday despite having a valid US passport and Russian visa. He was detained in a locked room for several hours before being escorted onto a flight to Amsterdam.
The statement said Russian authorities did not explain the expulsion. But it said that Shell told colleagues traveling with him that airport security officials told him he was subject to a lifetime ban on entering Russia. Shell is an Obama appointee who serves part-time as chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors and is also the chairman of NBCUniversal’s Filmed Entertainment Division. The board said it had been in touch with both the US Embassy in Moscow and the State Department about the incident and thanked them “for their urgent attention to the matter.”
There was no immediate comment from the State Department or the Russian government.
Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to arrive in Moscow on Thursday to discuss the conflicts in Syria, Ukraine and Nagorno-Karabakh with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Shell said Russian authorities escorted him to a flight bound for Amsterdam, giving his passport to the pilots of the jet.
“The worst part was getting walked down to the plane by the guard,” Shell said. “That was so embarrassing as I had to fly for three hours with all of these people who thought I might have been a terrorist or something.”
When he arrived in Amsterdam, he said, the pilots gave him his passport. The pilot told him that the Russian guard had instructed them not to return his documents until he was on Dutch soil.
The expulsion of Shell also takes place amid a spike in other tensions between the United States and Russia, including a tit-for-tat expulsion of diplomats from both nations last week related to an altercation between an American diplomat and a Russian security guard outside the US Embassy in Moscow. The US had earlier complained that Washington regime officials in Russia have been increasingly harassed by Russian security services, including home break-ins, for the past two years.
Russia has denied the allegations and countered that Russian officials in the United States are harassed. The regime’s State Department has rejected the Russian charges as unfounded and untrue.
NATO and the US have been massing troops near the Russian border as well as installing advanced missile systems there, sparking an outcry from the Russian president as well as Russian emigrés living in the US.
The Broadcasting Board of Governors was established in the early 2000s after the Cold War propaganda news agency, the United States Information Agency (USIA), folded in 1999. Today, under Jewish control, the BBG is responsible for distributing news and opinion programs funded by the US government to the rest of the world. Those news programs are explicitly forbidden from being broadcast inside the United States under laws that prohibit the government from releasing propaganda domestically.
Shell, a Harvard MBA, began his professional career with Gemstar TV Guide International, rising to the rank of CEO before leaving them to join News Corporation, where he held a number of positions eventually rising to become President of the FOX Cable Networks Group.
After leaving Fox, Shell served as President of Comcast Programming Group from 2005 to 2011, before joining NBC Universal International, where he worked from from 2011-2013 . He became Chairman of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group in September of 2013.
Shell served as an official of the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and was the recipient of the American Jewish Committee’s “Human Relations Award” in 2015.
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Source: Associated Press and National Vanguard correspondents