Fox News chief Roger Ailes sent a memo to his staffers on Thursday pledging his support for them in the wake of the Justice Department's investigation of the network.
The memo, which was first reported by the Washington Post's Erik Wemple, was released around the same time as NBC News reported that Attorney General Eric Holder had personally signed off on the warrant to search reporter James Rosen's personal emails. The Justice Department also looked at the phone records for five separate lines used by Fox News, and some even alleged that the records of Rosen's parents were also seized.
In the memo, Ailes tore into the Obama administration, saying the probe "calls into question whether the federal government is meeting its constitutional obligation to preserve and protect a free press in the United States." He also promised he would "not allow a climate of press intimidation, unseen since the McCarthy era, to frighten any of us away from the truth."
Read the full memo below:
The recent news about the FBI's seizure of the phone and email records of Fox News employees, including James Rosen, calls into question whether the federal government is meeting its constitutional obligation to preserve and protect a free press in the United States. We reject the government's efforts to criminalize the pursuit of investigative journalism and falsely characterize a Fox News reporter to a Federal judge as a "co-conspirator" in a crime. I know how concerned you are because so many of you have asked me: why should the government make me afraid to use a work phone or email account to gather news or even call a friend or family member? Well, they shouldn't have done it. The administration's attempt to intimidate Fox News and its employees will not succeed and their excuses will stand neither the test of law, the test of decency, nor the test of time. We will not allow a climate of press intimidation, unseen since the McCarthy era, to frighten any of us away from the truth.
I am proud of your tireless effort to report the news over the last 17 years. I stand with you, I support you and I thank you for your reporting with courageous optimism. Too many Americans fought and died to protect our unique American right of press freedom. We can't and we won't forget that. To be an American journalist is not only a great responsibility, but also a great honor. To be a Fox journalist is a high honor, not a high crime. Even this memo of support will cause some to demonize us and try to find irrelevant things to cause us to waver. We will not waver.
As Fox News employees, we sometimes are forced to stand alone, but even then when we know we are reporting what is true and what is right, we stand proud and fearless. Thank you for your hard work and all your efforts.