A Fox News spokesperson said reports that White House officials held high-level talks with Fox Corporation officials are inaccurate.
A report from CNN, citing sources who were not named, claimed that “there have been regular conversations between the White House and Fox News regarding the network’s coverage of the [COVID-19] pandemic and the vaccines.” The CNN report did not identify the White House officials or Fox News executives who were involved.
Going further, CNN later in the article attempted to tie the alleged conversations between Fox News’ executives and White House officials with a comment from top host Sean Hannity, who urged viewers on Monday night to take the pandemic seriously.
But a Fox News spokesperson told The Epoch Times on Tuesday that the CNN report is “inaccurate” and there “have been no high-level conversations between FOX News Media and the White House regarding our coverage” of COVID-19 or vaccines.
“We had one routine briefing with the White House in early May on vaccination rates and our DC bureau personnel are regularly in touch with them on a variety of issues, as is the case with every other network,” the spokesperson added.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday confirmed the White House held talks with Fox News on vaccines and the pandemic. But Psaki did not go into specifics about the nature of the discussions or how often, saying the Biden administration has reached out to other network broadcasters.
“We’ve been in touch with every network and many, many media outlets about coverage of COVID-19 to make sure people have accurate information, to voice concerns when we have them,” Psaki told reporters. The Biden administration, she added, believes it is important to reach “Fox News’ audience about the COVID-19 vaccines and their benefits, and like we are with all of you here today we, of course, are in regular contact.”
Psaki’s comments came just days after she and other Biden administration officials publicly accused Facebook of allowing alleged vaccine misinformation to proliferate on its platform, drawing a rare rebuke from the tech giant in a statement over the weekend.
But President Joe Biden on Monday later attempted to tamp down the war-of-words between Facebook and the White House, coming days after he accused Facebook of “killing people.” The president later said he was trying to illustrate a point.
“Facebook isn’t killing people, these 12 people are out there giving misinformation,” Biden told reporters during an event, referencing a study that made claims that a dozen accounts on Facebook are the main ones that promote alleged COVID-19 misinformation. “Anyone listening to it is getting hurt by it. It’s killing people. It’s bad information.”
However, the recent comments about Facebook drew condemnation from Republicans and even some members of the media, who said the administration is trying to exert pressure to stifle free speech.