On Wednesday, a customer service representative from the FDA’s Office of Facilities sent an email to staff informing them that TVs in a Silver Spring, Maryland office will now be exclusively turned to Fox News.
The email — a screencap of which was initially obtained and shared to Twitter by journalist Paul Thacker and later by BuzzFeed’s Julia Reinstein — was sent to “let everyone know” why TVs had been changed “from CNN to FOX.” It was sent to researchers at the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, the FDA branch that oversees medical products.
“A decision from the current administration administrative officials has requested that all monitors, under our control, on the White Oak Campus, display FOX news,” it says. “Sorry for the inconvenience, but I am unable to change any of the monitors to any other news source at this time.
— Paul Thacker (@thackerpd) May 5, 2017
Reinstein posted a posted of CBER TVs playing Fox News on Wednesday.
Here's Fox News on the TVs at CBER, same day an email went out to staff saying it had been switched from CNN to Fox by order of Trump admin pic.twitter.com/uVPx8jekIk
— Julia Reinstein (@juliareinstein) May 5, 2017
In a statement sent to ThinkProgress, an FDA spokesperson did not dispute the validity of the email, but denied that there was a “directive or memorandum that went out to employees about broadcast news channels displaying on monitors in common areas throughout the FDA’s White Oak campus.”
But the switch from CNN to Fox News mirrors Trump’s personal taste in cable news. Trump has repeatedly bashed CNN, which has broken news about his campaign’s suspect connections with Russia. He labeled the network “very fake news” during a news conference in February and refused to answer a question from CNN’s Jim Acosta during a presser just before the inauguration.
White House Senior Adviser and Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner reportedly told an executive from CNN’s parent company that the Trump administration is upset with the network’s critical coverage of Trump during a meeting in February, singling out Trump-critical commentators Van Jones and Ana Navarro.
Just this week, Trump’s reelection committee released a statement accusing CNN of suppressing its “free speech” by refusing to run one that smears CNN and other mainstream cable networks as “FAKE NEWS.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2017
During his first interview as president, Trump explained the importance of Fox News to his agenda, saying that he feels confident saying anything, whether or not its supported by facts, as long as Fox News hosts and the network’s “very smart” viewers agree with him.
Trump regularly live-tweets Fox News’ Fox & Friends morning show, and in turn, Fox News fiercely defends the president.
Special snowflake alert: Fox now doing a segment on how late night comedians are too mean to the president. pic.twitter.com/efbmbZdgjy
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) May 5, 2017