Judicial Watch uncovers documents that prove White House press office blacklisted Fox News 

Documents uncovered by Judicial Watch made it clear this week that, contrary to multiple official denials, President Obama's White House and Treasury Department press operations coordinated efforts to exclude Fox News from covering a significant news event.

The event was a series of interviews with Treasury's "pay czar" Kenneth Feinberg, who was being vested under the TARP program with tremendous authority to set compensation for Wall Street executives at firms receiving federal bailout funds.

When other TV news operations got wind of the Treasury media office's exclusion of Fox News from the interviews, they joined together in a protest that forced the Obama politicial appointees who made the decision to back off. Then they started officially denying that any effort was ever made to exclude Fox, according to the documents Judicial Watch made public.

"The Treasury Department’s official response, as detailed in back-and-forth emails uncovered by Judicial Watch, included a clear denial of any such plot to exclude Fox News from the interviews: 'There was no plot to exclude Fox News, and they had the same interview that their competitors did. Much ado about absolutely nothing,'” Judicial Watch said.

"Moreover, in an October 23, 2009 email to New York Times reporter Jim Rutenberg, Jake Siewart, Counselor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, repeated the denial that there was an effort to exclude Fox News Channel: 'Call me today on your Fox-Treasury report,' Siewart wrote. 'Not true that there was an effort to exclude Fox.'”

That denial was flatly contradicted by an Oct. 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,'” according to Fox.

But the documents Judicial Watch obtained under the Freedom of Information Act also make clear that the anti-Fox bias was pervasive within the Obama White House communications operation, with deputy communications director Jennifer Psaki referring in an email to Fox News' Special Report anchor Bret Baier as a "lunatic."

“These documents show there is a pervasive anti-Fox bias in the Obama White House,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The juvenile Mafioso-talk in these emails has no place in any White House. For the Obama administration to purposely exclude a major news organization from access to information has troubling First Amendment implications.”

For more from Judicial Watch, go here.

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