President Donald Trump’s habit of singling out reporters for attacks is being adopted by his federal agencies, with the Environmental Protection Agency excoriating an Associated Press reporter in unusually personal terms on Sunday after the reporter wrote a story that cast the agency in an unfavorable light.
“Yesterday, the Associated Press’ Michael Biesecker wrote an incredibly misleading story about toxic land sites that are under water,” the statement began. “Despite reporting from the comfort of Washington, Biesecker had the audacity to imply that agencies aren’t being responsive to the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey. Not only is this inaccurate, but it creates panic and politicizes the hard work of first responders who are actually in the affected area.”
The article in question, which was written by Biesecker and his AP colleague, Jason Dearen, noted that seven toxic Superfund sites around Houston had been flooded during Hurricane Harvey. The Saturday report also noted that the “EPA had not yet been able to physically visit the Houston-area sites,” which the EPA confirmed, arguing the sites were not accessible.
Um – what? Did the reporter actually get the facts wrong?
The statement did not point to any specific factual inaccuracies in Saturday’s story, besides accusing Biesecker of leaving out information about the EPA’s other efforts to monitor the toxic land sites, and the AP has not offered any corrections on the piece.
BTW: If you’re looking to donate to funds that will assist those in Harvey’s Path, the T.E.J.A.S. Harvey Fund, DSA Houston and No Red Cross are great places to look. Now, back to the rest of our story…
This is super-disturbing, Trump-style behavior by a government agency – and a lot of people are deeply concerned:
— Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) September 3, 2017
EPA has spent more effort lambasting AP and Biesecker than explaining what it is they are doing in Houston. Shame.
— M (@MPryor78) September 3, 2017
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) September 3, 2017
— Militia Etheridge (@MaryEmilyOHara) September 3, 2017
The EPA made things up while falsely accusing the AP of making things up. https://t.co/tPd4KzWYKp
— Jessica Huseman (@JessicaHuseman) September 3, 2017
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 3, 2017