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Obama Administration Blackballed Fox News

Posted by Stephen on July 15, 2011

A newly released trove of White House emails indicates that the Obama administration has had a long-running effort to blackball Fox News from interviews with key officials.

Watchdog Judicial Watch released the emails, which suggest a bias against Fox News as a whole and one of its anchors, Bret Baier, specifically. “He’s a lunatic,” says one of the White House emails, which were reported first in the Washington Whispers blog of US News and World Report.

The emails, which are from a period in October 2009, detail incidents such as Treasury’s pay czar, Kenneth Feinberg, being denied to Fox. Fox claimed that it was barred from talking to him, a contention that the administration denied. Fox eventually got its interview. The emails seem to suggest that former Fox White House correspondent Major Garrett smoothed over the issue.

The emails detail efforts to snub Fox during the period. Judicial Watch offered these examples:

•”According to one October 22, 2009, email exchange between Dag Vega, Director of Broadcast Media on the White House staff, to Jenni LeCompte, then-Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs in the Treasury Department, Vega informs LeCompte that ‘ . . . we’d prefer if you skip Fox please.'”

•”Regarding general anti-FNC bias within the Obama White House in an October 23, 2009, email exchange between Jennifer Psaki, Deputy White House Communications Director and LeCompte, Psaki writes, ‘I am putting some dead fish in the fox cubby – just cause’.”

•”In an email on the night of October 22, 2009, commenting on a report by Fox News Channel anchor Bret Baier noting the exclusion of the network from the pool, Psaki writes to Compte and fellow White House colleagues, ‘…brett baier just did a stupid piece on it — but he is a lunatic”.'”

•”Deputy White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest bluntly described the White House’s position on Fox News Channel in an October 23, 2009, email to LeCompte: ‘We’ve demonstrated our willingness and ability to exclude Fox News from significant interviews . . . ‘”

“These documents show there is a pervasive anti-Fox bias in the Obama White House,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

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