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Scott Pruitt Kicks Himself in His Own Ass, Again

EPA head bars reporters from 'unfriendly' media from public meeting on pollution

ScottPruittNewscomKris Tripplaar/Sipa USA/NewscomEnvironmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt evidently arranged to have journalists from media outlets he perceives to be unfriendly excluded from covering a National Leadership Summit that he convened today with the purported goal of taking action on Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) that are contaminating drinking water around the nation. Reporters from AP, CNN, and E&E News were banned from the Summit, and the reporter with the AP was forcibly ejected from the EPA's headquarters.

The Summit is being held on the heels of the revelation in Politico that the EPA is apparently suppressing a new report on the safety of PFAS from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. That report suggested that the EPA's safe level of exposure at 70 parts per trillion is about six times too high. Most of the concerns about exposure to PFAS are based on a large number of epidemiological studies that detect fairly subtle health effects. Subtle, however, does not mean no effects.

Naturally, the fact that the PFAS report is being withheld attracted the attention of reporters. Pruitt and his public relations crew initially claimed that there was simply no space in the meeting room. According to reporters who were allowed to cover the conference this was false; there were several empty seats in the area assigned to journalists. In fact, the journalists who were permitted to attend were initially limited to one hour—basically just enough time to hear Pruitt's canned remarks at the opening of the conference.

Apparently embarrassed by the backlash from this surpassingly clumsy attempt to protect the EPA's boss from uncomfortable questions, reporters will now be allowed to cover the rest of the two-day meeting. Setting reasonable limits on the number of press at public events is OK, say, by letting reporters in on a first-come basis. But excluding them because federal public servants don't like their reporting is wrong and, as EPA public relations minions have just learned, it will backfire. As a result of this self-inflicted wound, much more media and public attention (including me) will be turned toward how the EPA will handle the regulation of PFAS from now on.

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  • John||

    Ron,

    No one cares about reporters and the media. They are the most unpopular people on earth next to child molesters. This is likely to make Preuit more popular with the public.

  • Tony||

    Imagine it was Obama's EPA chief. Just get outside of your maggot-infested rightwing blob of a brain and think about it. Can you do that?

  • Violent Sociopath||

    If it was Obama's EPA chief you would have fellated him for excluding "unfriendly" media. Get the fuck over yourself you diseased piece of shit.

  • Ron Bailey||

    VS: Please point to any article by me in which I "fellated" an Obama EPA bureaucrat.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    He was talking to Tony.

    Wait a minute... You're Tony! Holy shit! *Mind. Blown*

  • Ron Bailey||

    CA: Ah the joys of threading

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Has reason.com engaged in introspection concerning what might attract so many disaffected, backward, bigoted, authoritarian right-wingers to this site?

  • ||

    Wipe the Tea biscuit crumbs from the corner of your mouth will ya? It's distracting.

  • Tony||

    It enables them. Ron will personally respond to my defenses of basic scientific fact while ignoring the volumes of denier horseshit.

  • Sevo||

    "Ron will personally respond to my defenses of basic scientific fact while ignoring the volumes of denier horseshit."
    Uh, yeah, he probably would have.
    If you'd ever posted any.

  • Violent Sociopath||

    Dunno. Have they engaged in introspection concerning what might attract a bigoted, supercilious, maladjusted, half-educated assclown like yourself?

  • Sevo||

    Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland|5.22.18 @ 7:10PM|#
    "Has reason.com engaged in introspection concerning what might attract so many disaffected, backward, bigoted, authoritarian right-wingers to this site?"

    Equally: Half-educated, bigoted lefty asshole losers.
    Grow up, twit. You lost.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Why would they need introspection, when we have you available to testify as to what brought you here?

  • czikne||

    "CA: Ah the joys of threading"

    No Ron, you're just stupid.

  • ||

    To the extent one can 'talk' to Tony.

  • Agammamon||

    Yes Tony, let's imagine it was Obama's EPA Chief. Or his IRS Chief. Or his ATF Chief. Or the heads of any number of executive branch agencies during his tenure.

    'Most transparent administration' evah!

  • ||

    I thought everyone hated lawyers?

    And people who put pineapple on pizza.

  • Don't look at me.||

    Oh, and I thought we were friends. PISS OFF!

  • ||

    Kiss my piss!

  • Nardz||

    I really hope you're doing the dance, too

  • Brett Bellmore||

    And I suppose you've got something against anchovies, too?

  • Rich||

  • An Innocent Man||

    Good for them...well deserved.

  • FoolishCop||

    Except Daily Caller says it was nothing like that:

    http://dailycaller.com/2018/05.....rom-event/

    "I was there," (DC's Jason)Hopkins said. "No one 'forcibly' grabbed her. She wasn't on the list, but felt she was too special for the rules and simply refused to leave, despite being asked numerous times to do so. After ten minutes of stonewalling, the police told her if she didn't leave they would make her leave."

    Can we get Reason not to jump on the bashing bandwagon so quickly without the facts?

  • SIV||

    Can we get Reason not to jump on the bashing bandwagon so quickly without the facts?

    No

    #TheReistance doesn't care about facts.

    Ron Bailey doesn't care about your feet getting wet and food sticking to your pans.

  • Ron Bailey||

    FC: Hmmm. I wonder why the Daily Caller was on the approved list?

  • czikne||

    That's as close to a mea culpa as we'll get.

  • Ron Bailey||

    c: no culpa to mea.

  • Ron Bailey||

    c: no culpa to mea.

  • Ron Bailey||

    F**king squirrels!

  • Ron Bailey||

    FC: Hmmm. I wonder why the Daily Caller was on the approved list?

  • Ron Bailey||

    FC: Hmmm. I wonder why the Daily Caller was on the approved list?

  • Ron Bailey||

    Et tu squirrels

  • Sevo||

    "Et tu squirrels"
    Ron, that bit of constant, lame, operation of the web site is the reason my annual check to reason now reads "$0.00" instead of several digits to the left of the decimal point.
    Perhaps you could suggest to those who control such things that a $0.37 monthly budget to maintain and update the site isn't doing the job.

  • Nardz||

    Ron, do you have a conflicting account? Are you saying the DC report is inaccurate?
    Or, are you just deflecting from being called out on shoddy performance?

  • SIV||

    Don't bother him, Ron's got his mouth full blowing that EPA guy

  • Nardz||

    Was trying to be polite.
    While I see no purpose or value in reading his articles (which isn't dissimilar from most Reason writing), thus don't, I do respect his (fleeting) participation in the comments/discussion.
    But that is a low, low bar.

  • Ron Bailey||

    N: Just curious: Why do you believe the DC account over the AP account of what happened?

  • Ron Bailey||

    N: BTW, EPA's Ellen Knickmeyer apologized to the AP reporter for being manhandled. But that's just the MSM reporting it so you probably think it's fake.

  • SIV||

    Morre FAKE NEWS, Ron. Unless you would have us believe there are TWO Ellen Knickmyers. One who works for the EPA and another(the real one) who works for the AP and lies about herself in the third person

  • Ron Bailey||

    S: I kicked my own ass here - the EPAer who apologized to AP reporter Ellen Knickmeyer was Lincoln Ferguson.?

  • czikne||

    Oh look, mendacious piece of shit decides to get salty.

    Are you really so fucking stupid that you can't understand why she would apologize? The reporter got manhandled, it doesn't mean anything regarding the veracity of your article you jackass.

    Jesus Christ what the fuck is wrong with you.

  • SIV||

    Or vice-a-versa. The DC reporter is named, the AP reporter isn't identified. The only source that the AP reporter was "roughed up" was the reporter herself. I see no independent confirmation of her claim, only a refutation.

  • Ron Bailey||

    S: The AP journalist's name was reported by numerous outlets including here and here. Plus plenty more that you could have googled.

    And her account was corroborated here: Additionally, the Associated Press said in a story that one of its reporters, denied entry, was grabbed by security guards and forcibly shoved out of the building after asking to speak to an EPA public affairs person. A CNN photographer saw the female journalist being shoved out of the building by a uniformed guard, and the Associated Press journalist recounted the incident to CNN immediately after it took place.

  • An Innocent Man||

    Just curious: Why do you believe the DC account over the AP account of what happened?

    A lifetime of experience?

  • Nardz||

    +1

    Btw, to Ron's question:

    "Ron, do you have a conflicting account? Are you saying the DC report is inaccurate?
    Or, are you just deflecting from being called out on shoddy performance?"

    Hmm.
    Not only does Mr. Bailey respond to questions with a question, that question is based upon an unsupported implication.
    I asked 3 questions. I made 0 assertions.
    I didn't start out with any belief regarding conflicting accounts, but so far FoolishCop and SIV have provided far more evidence than Mr. Bailey, who seems to have dodged the question.
    Thus, at this point, I have to judge in their favor rather than Mr. Bailey.

  • Ron Bailey||

    N: Yes. Yes. And no.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    In other words, you believe the report that confirms your biases, and you cast doubt on the report that does not.

  • czikne||

    "In other words, you believe the report that confirms your biases, and you cast doubt on the report that does not."

    Yes, that is exactly what Ron has done.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I wasn't talking about Ron.

  • czikne||

    Because it is the same account from multiple sources, and it doesn't jibe with yours.

  • Ron Bailey||

    All: Fascinating how confirmation bias works, isn't it?

  • Cynical Asshole||

    As a result of this self-inflicted wound, much more media and public attention (including me) will be turned toward how the EPA will handle the regulation of PFAS from now on.

    I'm sure he's quaking in his boots. /sarc

    Although, yeah, if he hadn't shot himself in the dick (PR wise) no one would have noticed or cared about PFAS one way or the other.

  • SIV||

    I care about PFAS. I don't like my feet getting wet and enjoy eggs cooked in a nonstick pan (I use seasoned cast iron for most everything else)

  • Aloysious||

    I was going to pick on Ronald about Monsanto, but after seeing him try to talk to a violent sociopath and get attacked by a plague of squirrels, I don't have the heart.

  • SIV||

    Don't give Ron a break, There is no lower form of "journalist" than science reporter.

  • Ron Bailey||

    S: Maybe science correspondent?

  • SIV||

    Over at Vox you could write (be?) a "science explainer".

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Say, what happened to the good old "Global Monthly Temperature Updates" anyway? They came to an end for some weird reason that I can't possibly imagine.

  • Ron Bailey||

    WCR: Weirdly my editors said that readers weren't interested in the updates. Editors are gifted with godlike powers of discernment with respect to what readers want and what reporters should report, so who am I to argue?

  • Azathoth!!||

    The members of the media should absolutely be allowed in.

    Leftists who publish fake news to further their aims can be excluded if one so desires. The most prominent fake news network, CNN, is among these, along with MSNBC, CBS, ABC, NBC, reporters from the NYT, WaPo, the LAT are also better considered 'perpetrators' than 'journalists'.

  • ||

    Umm...excuse me, but shouldn't Bailey give less than a fuck about the EPA? I mean, even non-libertarians know the EPA is mostly worthless and that it should be significantly downsized, if not eliminated. For Reason, via Bailey, to argue the petty process involved in the EPA circus, rather than the circus itself, is telling.

  • texexpatriate||

    Look, folks, we live under Federal tyranny today that reaches back at least to 1860. Even a fine president like Trump participates in it. Example? He could have released all the information on the JFK and RFK killings but did not do it. Why not? Because it implicates our tyrannical Federal government one way or another. We need to know just how the government is implicated. We are lucky so far in that this tyranny is yet a "soft tyranny," but with the interior threat of a socialist-led Democrat Party and an exterior threat of Mohammedanism, how long can we count on the tyranny remaining soft?

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