Employees at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) were reportedly told this week that all TV screens on their campuses had to show Fox News.
The email was allegedly sent to researchers at the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER). It was first shared via Twitter by journalist Paul Thacker and reads:
Please excuse me for sending this out to your entire group via your listserv, but I was alerted by a member in your group and I wanted to let everyone know that the reason for the change from CNN to FOX.
The reason for the change is that a decision from the current administration administrative officials has requested that all monitors, under our control, on the White Oak Campus, display FOX news.
A CBER employee told BuzzFeed News the email came after multiple employees spoke out against the channel change.
A lot of the staff were very upset about the change
After some complaints about the switch, we all received an email saying that the current administration ordered the change.
Another FDA employee told Buzzfeed News that he thought the news would put people off the FDA.
My biggest fear about having a 'right wing' news source playing in our halls is that it will drive away some people on the left who are already suspicious about FDA being a shill for big pharma.
We put a lot of work into disseminating health and safety information, but it’s not helpful for people who think it’s all a ploy and ignore it.
However, FDA have denied the claims, explaining that a variety of news stations run on the screens on the common areas of the campus, including CNN, MSNBC and FOX news.
There was no directive or memorandum from the Administration that went out to employees about broadcast news channels displaying on monitors in common areas throughout the FDA's White Oak campus.
Despite that, in a statement sent to ThinkProgress, an FDA spokesperson did not dispute the validity of the email.
Still, Fox News being shown in a government agency is particularly worrying due to it's unreliable science coverage. A 2012 study showed that 93% of Fox's climate change reporting is misleading.