Current Weather
The Spy FM

New Emails Shed Light On 2009 Fox News, White House Spat

Filed by KOSU News in Business.
July 17, 2011

Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch says new emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request prove that “contrary to its repeated denials” the Obama administration “attempted to exclude the Fox News Channel (FNC) from a round of interviews with Treasury’s ‘Executive Pay Czar’ Kenneth Feinberg.”

If you need a refresher, the incident Judicial Watch is referring to occurred in 2009, when the Washington press corps decided that they would not take a pool interview with Feinberg unless the Treasury backed off their exclusion of Fox News. The White House backed down, but the Feinberg incident was just a part of a broader contentious relationship between the White House and Fox News. NPR’s David Folkenflik reported on the dynamic here, and Mark rounded up the different episodes in this post.

Judicial Watch reports on the emails:

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…”

The president’s press secretary, Jay Carney, was asked about the emails by Mike Emanuel, Fox News’ White House correspondent, and Carney responded with some humor at yesterday’s press briefing.

“Well, Mike, first of all, let me address a serious matter here, that I can say, having looked into this matter, that no one at the White House, either a current or former employee, ever placed a dead fish in the FOX News cubbyhole, which I know is a suggestion,” Carney said.

Then he added: “I can also say that it is well known that at the time there was a dispute between FOX News and its coverage and the White House and its feelings about the coverage. I mean, that was then, and we obviously deal with FOX News regularly. I call on you regularly. We give interviews to FOX News, including to Bill O’Reilly. But beyond that, I don’t really know much about it.” [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

11PM to 5AM The Spy

The Spy

An eclectic mix of the Spy's library of more than 10,000 songs curated by Ferris O'Brien.

Listen Live Now!

5AM to 6AM The Splendid Table

The Splendid Table

Hosted by award-winning Lynne Rossetto Kasper, The Splendid Table is a culinary, culture and lifestyle program that celebrates food and its ability to touch the lives and feed the souls of everyone.

View the program guide!

6AM to 7AM Travel with Rick Steves

Travel with Rick Steves

"Travel with Rick Steves" is a fun, hour-long, and practical talk show with guest experts and calls and questions from travelers. This weekly program is a lively conversation between travelers and the experts as we learn to explore our world smartly, smoothly, and thoughtfully.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center