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
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.