In email, reporter stressed ‘commitment to Yellen.’
June 16, 2023
(Washington, DC) – Government watchdog the Functional Government Initiative (FGI) has uncovered evidence that certain Bloomberg reporters had given Biden Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen such favorable coverage that they chafed under Treasury’s censorship of their stories, and weren’t shy about letting the Treasury Department know their displeasure.
FGI gathered documents related to the renomination of Jerome Powell as Federal Reserve Chairman via Freedom of Information Act requests. Among the documents are emails showing that numerous members of the press were in touch with officials at the Department of Treasury seeking insights about Secretary Yellen’s opinion of Powell and how she was advising the White House on its decision to renominate Powell.
In one email from Bloomberg Senior Washington Correspondent Saleha Mohsin to Calvin Mitchell and Lily Adams, both Assistant Secretaries for Public Affairs at Treasury, Mohsin was clearly steamed. “Bloomberg reporters show enough commitment to Yellen that we travel far and wide to cover her,” Mohsin wrote, “only to have you [sic] quotes killed. Yellen made the same comments live to the networks and its no big deal.”
It sounds as though Treasury Department Public Affairs staff had the power to pick and choose what Yellen quotes Bloomberg could report, and Mohsin was tiring of it. Given Boomberg’s demonstrated “commitment to Yellen,” it should have more freedom to choose what it publishes.
Peter McGinnis, spokesman for FGI, issued the following statement:
“If Treasury officials were censoring Bloomberg’s reporters, that’s unethical. If Bloomberg reporters allowed it to happen, it’s unethical and unprofessional. Trading access for message control is an old game in Washington, but rarely do you see evidence this blatant. We know the media takes the Biden administration’s side. Now it seems that Bloomberg reporters take its dictation too.”