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.