The Environmental Protection Agency followed in Trump’s footsteps Sunday when it grilled an Associated Press reporter for writing an unflattering news piece about the agency’s response to Hurricane Harvey tragedy.
The agency accused journalist Michael Biesecker of crafting an “incredibly misleading” news article about the flooded toxic sites in Texas. The EPA claimed that the reporter wrote the story from the comfort of Washington, so he has no idea what responders went through in the affected areas.
EPA says Biesecker “politicized” the tragedy to create panic among Texans. The story focused on several toxic sites in the Houston area that are now underwater. Biesecker accused the federal agency of not deploying employees to the sites to assess the risks. The EPA confirmed it has not “physically visited” the sites since there was no access to them.
EPA Accuses AP of “Yellow Journalism”
The agency also attacked the AP reporter for having a record of not “letting the facts getting in the way of his story.” In June, Biesecker reported that the EPA head Scott Pruitt and the Dow Chemical CEO met for half an hour in Houston. While the agency officially canceled the meeting, the EPA admits Pruitt and the company’s representative had a “brief introduction in passing.” The news agency corrected the article.
It is unclear who wrote the recent EPA statement. Its associate administrator Liz Bowman accused the AP of “cherry-picking the facts” when it comes to the toxic sites outside Houston.
Bowman said a team of EPA experts is working with local officials to respond to Hurricane Harvey’s fallout.
“Anything to the contrary is yellow journalism,” Bowman added.
The official also blasted Biesecker for not mentioning the agency’s efforts to keep an eye on toxic leaks in the Houston-area.
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