Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has uncovered documents from the Obama Department of Treasury showing that the Obama administration, contrary to its repeated denials, attempted to exclude the Fox News Channel (FNC) from a round of interviews with Treasury’s “Executive Pay Czar” Kenneth Feinberg. The documents, which include email exchanges within the Department of the Treasury and between Treasury and White House staff, also provide colorful evidence of an anti-Fox News bias within the Obama White House.
The documents, obtained last week by Judicial Watch pursuant to an October, 28, 2009, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, concern a series of interviews with Feinberg, who served as the Special Master for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) Executive Compensation, on October 22, 2009, organized by the Treasury Department. According to press reports, the Fox News Channel was specifically excluded from joining the pool of reporters which precipitated a backlash among the networks and a reversal by the Obama Treasury Department.
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.”
… 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”.
Read Judicial Watch’s entire piece here.