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Monday, October 26, 2009
Newsmax Repeats False Claim About Fox News, Feinberg
Topic: Newsmax

As evidence of "President Obama's decision to employ bare-knuckled Chicago tactics in his street fight with Fox News," David Patten cites the following in an Oct. 25 Newsmax article:

On Thursday, the administration suffered an embarrassing setback in its campaign to cast Fox News Channel as a media pariah. The Treasury Department arranged interviews for "pay czar" Kenneth Feinberg, but directed that Fox News would not be included.

According to FoxNews.com, the Washington bureau chiefs of the other networks conferred and informed Treasury officials that Fox could not be excluded because it is a member of the network pool.

Either Fox would be permitted to participate, they said, or none of the networks would provide coverage.

The administration quickly backed down from its plan to exclude Fox.

But that storyline has been discredited. As we've noted, Talking Points Memo uncovered what actually happened, and there's no evidence that anyone in the administration "directed that Fox News would not be included":

Feinberg did a pen and pad with reporters to brief them on cutting executive compensation. TV correspondents, as they do with everything, asked to get the comments on camera. Treasury officials agreed and made a list of the networks who asked (Fox was not among them).

But logistically, all of the cameras could not get set up in time or with ease for the Feinberg interview, so they opted for a round robin where the networks use one pool camera. Treasury called the White House pool crew and gave them the list of the networks who'd asked for the interview.

The network pool crew noticed Fox wasn't on the list, was told that they hadn't asked and the crew said they needed to be included. Treasury called the White House and asked top Obama adviser Anita Dunn. Dunn said yes and Fox's Major Garrett was among the correspondents to interview Feinberg last night.

Simple as that, we're told, and the networks don't want to be seen as heroes for Fox.

Will Patten correct his article? Don't count on it.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:45 AM EDT

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