Associated Press, CNN Blocked from EPA Meeting

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt

As CNN reports, you should absolutely be worried about the First Amendment under the Trump administration:

The Environmental Protection Agency blocked reporters from several news outlets from a national summit on Tuesday where Scott Pruitt, the agency’s chief, was speaking.

Journalists from CNN, the Associated Press and E&E News, a publication that covers energy and environment issues, were barred by the EPA from entering the event, which was focused on harmful chemicals in water. A handful of other reporters from other news organizations, however, were allowed inside the event for Pruitt’s opening remarks after having been previously invited by the agency the day before.

In a statement, Jahan Wilcox, an EPA spokesman, said the agency barred reporters from attending due to space limitations inside the venue. He said the EPA was able to accommodate only 10 reporters and that it provided a livestream “for those we could not accommodate.”…

…A report published by The Hill, however, said a handful of seats in the press section remained vacant by the time Pruitt began speaking. Another reporter told Politico there were dozens of empty seats in the room, and a photo obtained by CNN also showed space for cameras.

This report from the Associated Press is particularly jarring:

Guards barred an AP reporter from passing through a security checkpoint inside the building. When the reporter asked to speak to an EPA public-affairs person, the security guards grabbed the reporter by the shoulders and shoved her forcibly out of the EPA building. [Pols emphasis]

Reporters for the AP, CNN, and E&E News were eventually allowed to cover the meeting after a backlash from multiple media outlets. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters later that the administration would “look into the matter.”

5 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Hakim says:

    Pruitt is arrogant beyond belief.

  2. Duke Cox says:

    This sort of heavy-handed treatment of reporters and selected networks will likely increase. T***p is marching us toward totalitarianism. 

     

  3. notaskinnycook says:

    Don’t despair, Duke.

    Of all people the Sadministration doesn't want to piss off, let alone manhandle, reporters are on top of the list. Don't they understand reporters will tell the world what's happening? I suppose they think trying to shut out news agencies they've decided are insufficiently deferential to the high and mighty administrators will keep their shenanigans under wraps.I’m thoroughly enjoying how rival news agencies are sticking together and standing up for their colleagues, while still hustling to get the story.Thank you, Sadministration for reviving journalism in America!

    • Duke Cox says:

      Actually, skinny, I am encouraged by it. 

      I have often said the "give an asshole enough rope" principle will bring them down.

      I am working on my first diary in a long time on the subject of T***pian hegemony. Suffice it to say, I do not believe they will succeed. America will not succumb to fascists.

    • mamajama55 says:

      I agree, cook. If we come out of this with a functioning democracy, we will appreciate journalists, bureaucrats, regulations and all kinds of currently unpopular nouns required for living in an orderly, law-abiding society.

      The first American Revolution set up government to curb the abuses of tyrants. The Civil War affirmed the principle of a unified country and common interests of all humans. What will the Trump era's legacy be?

      Looking forward to your diary, Duke.

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