Instead of admitting its error, the AP tried to cover it up. According to Breitbart, this is “nearly the exact mistake that cost three editorial staffers at CNN their jobs in a scandal that first exploded a week ago today.
The AP fabricated an imaginary meeting between Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt and Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris. Then, they went a step further and claimed the was impropriety that resulted from the meeting.
“This is exactly the same mistake CNN made a week ago, when it alleged that Anthony Scaramucci—the founder of SkyBridge Capital and an associate and ally of President Donald Trump—held “meetings” with Russian investment fund leaders and was under investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee and Treasury Department as a result,” wrote Matthew Boyle.
The title of the AP article was “EPA chief met with Dow CEO before deciding on pesticide ban” by Michael Biesecker. From the looks of what Biesecker wrote, I’m wondering when his colleagues will begin referring to him as a conspiracy theorist.
The Trump administration’s top environmental official met privately with the chief executive of Dow Chemical shortly before reversing his agency’s push to ban a widely used pesticide after health studies showed it can harm children’s brains, according to records obtained by The Associated Press. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s schedule shows he met with Dow CEO Andrew Liveris on March 9 for about a half hour at a Houston hotel. Both men were featured speakers at an energy industry conference. Twenty days later Pruitt announced his decision to deny a petition to ban Dow’s chlorpyrifos pesticide from being sprayed on food, despite a review by his agency’s scientists that concluded ingesting even minuscule amounts of the chemical can interfere with the brain development of fetuses and infants. EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman said Tuesday that Pruitt was ‘briefly introduced’ to Liveris at the conference.
The problem with Biesecker’s piece, which ran over the Associated Press wires on Wednesday evening, is that as Breitbart News has confirmed from both sides: No meeting ever occurred, despite one appearing on Pruitt’s schedule. Sure, both were at the conference and briefly shook hands when introduced, but they never had a “meeting” because of scheduling conflicts.
“Administrator Scott Pruitt did not meet privately with Andrew Liveris, the CEO of Dow,” Liz Bowman, the EPA’s spokeswoman, told Breitbart News. “The AP article is inaccurate and misleading. Despite multiple attempts to provide the Associated Press with the facts, this article has not been corrected.”
Dow Chemical’s director of public affairs also confirmed to Breitbart News that no such meeting ever occurred.
Rachelle Schikorra of Dow Chemical’s public affairs department confirmed:
I can confirm that a meeting between Andrew Liveris and Scott Pruitt never happened. The two were attending the same conference where an introductory meet-and-greet was scheduled with no topics specified. However that meeting never happened due to schedule conflicts. The two have never had a meeting and have never discussed any Dow products.
The Associated Press originally refused to issue a correction on this despite knowing since at least Thursday, as Breitbart News can confirm—the article ran on Wednesday—that the piece was inaccurate. The AP has caved and finally corrected the inaccurate hit piece on Pruitt. What’s more, the Associated Press is now—while under scrutiny thanks to a Breitbart News investigation—trying to cover up the mistake and not answer questions about the editors and others involved in the grave error, or whether they and the reporter responsible for it will be held accountable.
The AP then ran the piece on Friday afternoon, which read:
The Environmental Protection Agency and Dow Chemical said Friday that a planned meeting in March between EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and the company’s CEO never took place. The meeting was listed on Pruitt’s schedule and reported by The Associated Press on Tuesday. EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman said in a statement that Pruitt and Dow’s Andrew Liveris did have ‘a brief introduction in passing’ during an energy conference in Houston. She said ‘no substantive issues’ were discussed. Rachelle Schikorra, a spokeswoman for Dow, said the formal meeting ‘never happened due to schedule conflicts.’
Due to mounting pressure, and perhaps seeing what happened to CNN, the AP’s Michael Biesecker did finally acknowledge its misreporting and provided the following acknowledgment and update to the story on July 3, nearly a week after the report.
In a story June 27, The Associated Press, relying on schedules provided by the Environmental Protection Agency, reported erroneously that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt met with Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris for about a half-hour at a Houston hotel. A spokeswoman for the EPA says the meeting listed on the schedule was canceled, though Pruitt and Liveris did have a “brief introduction in passing.”
The story also misreported the name of an industry trade group. It is the American Chemistry Council, not the American Chemical Council.
A corrected version of the story is below:
EPA chief met with Dow CEO before deciding on pesticide ban
Records show the Trump administration’s top environmental official met briefly with the chief executive of Dow Chemical shortly before reversing his agency’s push to ban a widely-used pesticide after health studies showed it can harm children’s brains
By MICHAEL BIESECKER
More and more, we are seeing the big names in mainstream media being caught red-handed in writing things that are simply not true.
Fortunately, journalists are exposing them for what they have been doing for years. Following the CNN scandal, Project Veritas’ James O’Keefe recently warned that his organization was about to expose other media companies who are peddling fake news to Americans.