THE BLOG
05/21/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Media Matters Jumps to Defend Unsolicited White House Emails to Federal Employees

Media Matters, the defender of liberal media, jumped into last week's developing controversy and debate over White House Health Reform Director Nancy-Ann DeParle's unsolicited White House emails to federal employees. Media Matters scolds and makes fun of CBS News and Fox News for highlighting the issue, calling the claims "pure speculation". Ironically, Media Matters doesn't deny that the unsolicited emails have been sent but rather they defend the emails by saying, "it appears they are sent out to everyone on the whitehouse.gov mailing list." Well, duh. That's the problem. Why are federal employees on the whitehouse.gov email list? And why are federal employees being hounded to do the White House's political bidding for a trillion dollar entitlement program?

Building support for President Barack Obama's health reform package by sending consecutive emails to federal employees' official government email inboxes and instructing them to forward the emails to their "friends, family and online networks" is not only unethical but possibly illegal.

Media Matters also complains that the story has no anonymous quotes from frustrated federal employees in order to prove the story. Which is a fair point. I'll give them that. So here are two anonymous quotes from State Department employees that didn't sign up for the White House emails but are still receiving political musings from Nancy-Ann DeParle and the White House:

Anonymous Quote #1:

" I didn't sign up for this. Why do I have to bother with political fights from work. This is inappropriate and distracting to REAL issues."

Anonymous Quote #2:

"I have been receiving these emails at my state.gov address, unsolicited e-mails such as the one below on a near weekly basis. Kinda threatening dontcha think? Budget problems if it doesn't pass?"

Department of State employees receive hundreds of official government emails everyday on pressing issues like the Israeli-Palestinian issue or the Iranian nuclear weapons issue. Should they have to worry about partisan political emails threatening budget complications if Obama's bill isn't passed?

DeParle's language in one email flatly states that there will be budget problems for federal agencies if the Obama bill isn't passed. DeParle uses scare tactics that are clearly meant as threats:

"No ifs, ands or buts about it -- if we do nothing to reform our broken health care system, costs will continue to skyrocket and break the budgets of American families, small businesses and the Federal Government," read the March 12th email from DeParle.

Since Media Matters is trying to dismiss the issue as "pure speculation", here are 2 examples of the emails. Decide for yourself:

Email #1:
From: Nancy-Ann DeParle, The White House [mailto:info@messages.whitehouse.gov]
Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2010 12:10 PM
To: (Name Withheld)
Subject: 625

Good morning,

625 -- that's the number of people who lost their health insurance every hour in 2009.1

A statistic like that tells a frightening story -- losing insurance can happen to anyone. How many more Americans have to lose their health insurance and how many more businesses have to drop coverage before we fix our broken health care system?

We've been debating what to do about our broken health care system for decades -- not just this past year. Every idea has been put on the table. Every argument has been made. Everything there is to say about health reform has been said. It's time to decide how to reform our health care system to give American families and businesses the security and stability they deserve.

As the President has said, "In the United States of America, no one should have to worry that they'll go without insurance -- not for one year, not for one month, not for one day."

The millions of Americans who lost their insurance last year can't wait any longer. The time is now for health insurance reform.

625 is the latest digit in 'Health Reform by the Numbers,' an online campaign to spread the word about the need for health insurance reform. You can help raise awareness by sharing this email with your friends, family and online networks.

Let's get it done.

Nancy-Ann DeParle

Director, White House Office of Health Reform

1The Wonk Room, ThinkProgress.org, UPDATE: 15,000 People Lost Health Insurance Per Day In 2009

This email was sent to (name withheld)@state.gov

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The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW • Washington, DC 20500 • 202-456-1111

*****

Email #2:
To: (Name Withheld)
Subject: "There but for the grace of God go any one of us"
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2010 16:05:48 -0400
From: info@messages.whitehouse.gov

Good afternoon,

If you're an American under the age of 65, there's roughly a 50/50 chance that you will find yourself without coverage at some point in the next decade.1

Simply put, losing insurance can happen to anyone.

At yesterday's health reform event, President Obama told the story of Natoma, a self-employed woman in Ohio who found herself in the position of losing her health insurance after yet another rate hike from her insurance company:

"She realized that if she paid those health insurance premiums that had been jacked up by 40 percent ... she couldn't make ends meet. So January was her last month of being insured. Like so many responsible Americans -- folks who work hard every day, who try to do the right thing -- she was forced to hang her fortunes on chance... And on Saturday, Natoma was diagnosed with leukemia...

"Part of what makes this issue difficult is most of us do have health insurance, we still do.... But what we have to understand is that what's happened to Natoma, there but for the grace of God go any one of us."

For Natoma and the millions of other Americans forced to face the burden of medical bills they can't pay while at their most vulnerable -- the time is now for health insurance reform. Watch the video of Natoma's story and learn what more you can do to help spread the word about the need for reform.

50/50 is the latest number in 'Health Reform by the Numbers,' our online campaign to raise awareness about why we just can't wait any longer for health insurance reform. Help spread the word by sharing this message with your family, friends and online networks.

Let's get it done.

Nancy-Ann DeParle

Director, White House Office of Health Reform

1 Department of the Treasury, The Risk of Losing Health Insurance Over a Decade

This email was sent to (name withheld)@state.gov

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The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW • Washington, DC 20500 • 202-456-1111

Cross-posted from Without the Filter.