People at the headquarters of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration this week noticed something that some of them found odd about the televisions at their sprawling headquarters—they were all turned to Fox News. Two people who work at the facility told Scientific American that the monitors, which normally include broadcasts from a variety of channels including CNN and MSNBC, were now exclusively displaying Fox.
Adding intrigue to the situation: On Friday an internal memo, dated May 3, 2017, and obtained by freelance journalist Paul Thacker, was circulated on Twitter and suggested that the televisions had been switched to Fox because of a White House order: “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," the email reads, referring to main FDA facilities in Silver Spring, Maryland. An FDA spokesperson says the memo was from a customer service representative from the agency’s Office of Facilities, responding to a group of employees. The spokesperson says the administration did not send a directive to employees announcing anything about broadcast news channels.
The television change does not appear to extend beyond the FDA. Another agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, told Scientific American that they have not received any order to change their television channels, nor have they done so. Stay tuned to see if the FDA monitors remain locked on Fox. As the internal customer service memo dated May 3, 2017, explained to employees, ""I am unable to change any of the monitors to any other news source at this time."