A U.N. spokeswoman acknowledged Thursday that five U.N. officials discussed what they believed was "inaccurate reporting" — specifically by FOX News, the Wall Street Journal and Inner City Press — in a meeting last month.
The spokeswoman, Michele Montas, confirmed during her daily briefing with reporters that the meeting had taken place following the publication of a memo from Under Secretary-General Angela Kane to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that referred to the discussion.
One day earlier, Montas denied that a meeting had taken place to discuss critical news coverage. On Thursday, she made clear that the subject was discussed, but it was not the purpose of the meeting.
She acknowledged to reporters that Ban had received the memo, adding that he had "absolutely no specific reaction" to it.
The memo read: "We propose writing to professional journalistic bodies which regulate the journalists concerned as well as letters to the Editors with copies to their Companies' Legal Counsel. Should DPI gather sufficient examples of inaccurate reporting, we can consider more formal legal responses such as 'cease and desist' or 'letters before action' sent by outside counsel."
Montas on Thursday said no final decisions were made regarding such letters to FOX News, the Wall Street Journal and Inner City Press.
"This was discussed as one of the alternatives," she said, adding that there was also no decision to contact Google News, which hosts Inner City Press, regarding the allegations.
Montas did not respond to repeated requests by FOXNews.com for an interview.
Inner City Press reporter Matthew Lee reported on Tuesday that Under Secretary-General Angela Kane met on May 8 with Under Secretary for Communications and Public Information Kiyo Akasaka, Under Secretary for Legal Affairs Patricia O'Brien, U.N. Director of Communications Michael Meyer and Montas to devise a strategy to "counter negative coverage" by the three media outlets.
Lee cited what he initially thought were minutes from the meeting, but Montas later confirmed that the document was actually a memo to Ban regarding concerns raised by the U.N. Medical Service in connection to previous reporting by Lee on allegations of unlicensed doctors and nurses at the international agency.
Asked by Lee on Thursday if Ban had seen the memo in question, Montas replied, "Mr. Ban receives memos concerning everything that concerns every single department, he has absolutely no specific reaction on this."