Transparency

Emails Reveal Federal Agency Ignored Conservative Media Inquiries

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A series of emails disclosed this week indicate that officials at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) don't particularly like conservative reporters and in at least one case told a scientist to lie in order to avoid answering questions.

The Daily Caller discovered this after being subject to one of the federal agency's "freeze-outs." The right-wing website was skeptical of a CDC study that purported to show obesity rates in 2- to 5-year-olds dropping by 43 percent, and of subsequent claims that First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign played a role in the decline.

Having emails and phone calls go unanswered, the Caller made a Freedom of Information request:

"Karen gets very worked up whenever conservative outlets want to do interviews," wrote Jeffrey Lancashire, a spokesman for the National Center of Health Statistics, a part of the CDC, in an email to Cynthia Ogden, the lead scientist on the study.

Lancashire was referring to Karen Hunter, a senior press officer at the federal agency.

"But that has caused us trouble in the past," Lancashire continued, "because it raises unnecessary flags as to why we're doing some interviews but not others."…

"Tell him you can't do an interview because you're on leave and unavailable due to a family activity/event (or just say you're on leave)," Lancashire wrote Ogden.

Ogden did not take Lancashire's advice. She did not respond at all to the interview request.

However, the CDC did respond to requests from other media outlets, prompting the Caller to conclude that Ogden wasn't actually on leave. 

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  1. What a pleasant surprise. Shutting out opposing news outlets even on the pettiest of topics.

    1. To a prog, no topic is too petty for politics.

  2. What did they tell you when you called for comment, Zenon?

  3. That’s a pair of crackerjack press liaisons.

  4. Purge. We need a bloody purge.

  5. This is what you get, partisans. Happy now?

    1. They actually are:

      The ones in power get to exercise it.

      The ones out of power get to revel in the victimhood.

      Win/win.

  6. “”Karen gets very worked up whenever conservative outlets want to do interviews,”

    …Lancashire was referring to Karen Hunter, a senior press officer at the federal agency””

    1. I was going to add some commentary there, but in retrospect I’m not sure it isn’t self evident

      I mean, because being a press officer would be so much easier if it weren’t for all those pesky news outlets getting in the way.

    2. How DARE those peasants believe they can talk to someone of her station!

    3. “You aren’t the real press!”

  7. Is there anything too petty for this administration to lie about?

  8. “”But that has caused us trouble in the past,” Lancashire continued, “because it raises unnecessary flags as to why we’re doing some interviews but not others.”.”

    I have a great book title: Unnecessary Flags: How Liberals Palm Off Deceptive “Science” on the Public

  9. Pussies. At least Baghdad Bob showed up.

  10. Just warms my heart to hear that other gov agencies don’t treat FOIA inquiries with the sense of urgency we do. We naive folk actually think they’re pretty important.

    1. FOIL requests at the state used to have a policy of “if the document doesn’t exist, collect the data requested”, Now that King Cuomo is in office the policy is “If the Exact document requested doesn’t exist, send them an ‘I’m sorry’ note. Do not collect the data. And delete all e-mails after 90 days.”

  11. The CDC is an apolitical agency, so it’s legitimate that they would not assist in the politicization of their studies. Something tells me TDC wasn’t interested in the science of child obesity, they were looking to twist the study into an attack on yet another political prominent female.

    1. The CDC is an apolitical agency, so it’s legitimate that they would not assist in the politicization of their studies.

      Except when they want to assist in boosting one of the First Lady’s pet projects, you mean?

      1. Are they never supposed to study a phenomena that Mrs. President develops and implements a program to deal with? Or do you think she should stick to making fried chicken and pleasuring Barack because that’s what black women are for in your point of view?

        1. Man, if you’re gonna troll, at least put some effort into it. Lazy, over-the-top, non-sequitur racism accusations? F for effort, dumbass.

          1. Lazy? Of course not. Tulpa works 10 times harder than you and is 10 times smarter than you. Just ask him.

        2. So, they’re supposed to study the First Lady’s program, just not reveal any details about the study?

          1. Yes ?

    2. It’s appropriate that your handle is the name of a retard.

        1. Well, of course. Poor Tulpy-Poo. He’s so pathetic he can’t even sockpuppet with any skill. He should really just kill himself.

      1. Unimaginative handle ripped from popular culture?

        Stupid inflammatory caricature of a position?

        I’ll take $500 from “Tulpical Sockpuppets”, Alex!

      2. Now you know how the CDC feels about conservative “journalists” making silly requests.

        1. Tulpa,

          You really suck. Are all Tulane grads as moronic as you? Or are you like a special outlier?

      3. I figured this was Poe’s Law striking.

    3. Something tells me TDC wasn’t interested in the science of child obesity, they were looking to twist the study into an attack on yet another political prominent female.

      Guess what? It doesn’t fucking matter what they wanted the data for! It’s not legitimate for them to refuse to give their data to those challenging their conclusions. That isn’t just a principle of open and honest government, it’s a basic principle of science.

      1. You could find a better adverb to make your point.

    4. There is no such thing as an apolitical government agency.

    5. “You shouldn’t call our political biases ‘political’ because SCIENCE!”

    6. Then why respond at all to other media outlets. They should have the same response for every outlet if they really are apolitical, you disingenuous jackass.

    7. Government agencies shouldn’t consider themselves entitled to withhold information from outlets that intend to use the information to attack the agency, moron.

      The entire reason to have a free press in the first place is so that free press can attack government agencies.

      There is no reason for a press to exist if they aren’t going to spend every living moment coming up with ways to attack politicians in the most brutal and cruel manner imaginable.

      1. “It is a newspaper’s duty to print the news and raise hell.”

        1. Yep, except look at how they treated the Global Warming report just put out (the NCA report) which was full of non-scientific conclusions.

          And how they treated the Antarctic Glacier melt — oh noos! we’re all going to die….(shh, in 1000 years)–and they never included the inconvenient truth that Antarctic Ice is at a modern record high.

          The press is an arm of the Dem Party

    8. You are pathetic.

  12. Oh man, Hodor was super effective.

  13. What fun is power if it’s not capricious.

  14. ANOTHER FAKE SCANDAL YOU STUPID PEANUTS!!

  15. Here’s a question for Karen Hunter- How did The Ceau?escus die? My father thought all bureaucrats and members of Congress should know that.

  16. Bad practice, yes, but any reporter that self-identifies with a political ideology isn’t going to be objective, so there’s not much reason to waste time pandering to their preconceptions. Calling yourself a conservative or a liberal pretty much disqualifies you from honestly calling yourself a reporter. It’s like wearing a big sign that says “I’M GOING TO SPIN WHATEVER YOU SAY TO MAKE MY TEAM LOOK GOOD AND YOUR TEAM LOOK BAD.” …Which is probably why leftist reporters don’t advertise their allegiances as readily as rightists. They know how it looks. On the right, however, there’s such a fierce tribal solidarity that they can’t HELP it… many of them mistake identity politics with their own actual identities.

    1. Yeah, fierce tribal loyalty is something only right-leaning people practice. Circle the wagons!

      I’d even go so far as to say that declaring your affiliation when you report at least gives the reader a chance to be aware of any potential biases and take them into account when drawing their conclusions after reading. Perhaps honesty should count for more than objectivity.

      So, in fact, hiding your affiliation only gives the appearance of impartiality. Declaring it should be compulsory.

    2. Go to the Daily Caller website.

      They do not call themselves conservative.

      “The Daily Caller is a 24-hour news publication providing its audience with original reporting, thought-provoking commentary and breaking news.”

      They also do a lot of breaking stories on government waste.

      Hint: government waste is not a partisan issue. But bureaucrats don’t like it.

  17. Yes, transparency: another “elect me” fallacy.

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