Tuesday, May 22, 2018

AP Reporter Barred From EPA Meeting In Yet Another Screw Up

Scott Pruitt's EPA is apparently worried about what the Associated Press
and CNN would report on them today. So they barred them. 
The EPA held a summit today on hazardous groundwater contamination. As always with this kind of meeting, journalists wanted to cover it. It's news.

The AP journalist who was barred asked to talk to an EPA spokesman about the situation.

Instead, a security guard forcibly kicked her out of the building, grabbing her by the shoulders and pushing her out. Pretty thuggish, doncha think?

The Trump administration isn't really into the niceties of open and transparent government, so I'm really not surprised this happened. But did the folks at the EPA really think that reporter, and journalists in general, would just shrug and say, "Oh, OK."

So there's yet another unnecessary outcry this afternoon.

"The Environmental Protection Agency's selective barring of news organizations, including the AP, from covering today's meeting is alarming and a direct threat to the public's right to know about what is happening inside their government......It is particularly distressing that any journalist trying to cover an event in the public interest would be forcibly removed," said AP Executive Editor Sally Buzbee.

So, the EPA tried to backtrack, saying the room was small, only a limited number of people could fit in, yada, yada, yada. Of course they could have easily scheduled this in a bigger room, and why did they specifically boot out the  AP and CNN from this meeting? Was something going to be said that would be particularly galling?

The EPA said they'd let reporters into the afternoon session. So they probably changed the agenda so nothing controversial will be said.

It's the PR Trump administration, of course. Hide the truth, and promote some fake news.

By the way, this whole thing has a Vermont connection. Pruitt and his EPA were caught in emails showing the agency tried to interfere and hide stuff in a critical study of the groundwater contaminants, which include some groundwater pollution around Bennington, Vermont.

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