Yahoo News Reporter Slammed by EPA for Allegedly Spreading Fake News
PoliticsZachary Stieber

A Yahoo News political reporter known for being openly anti-President Donald Trump was slammed by the Environmental Protection Agency for misleading readers about comments made by the agency’s head.

Andrew Wheeler, the agency’s administrator, spoke at the National Press Club on June 3, sharing what he views as biases in coverage regarding the agency under the Trump administration.

Wheeler stated at one point that “the media does a disservice to the American public and sound policy-making by not informing the public of the progress this nation has made.”

According to the agency, known as the EPA, Wheeler made the remarks “after discussing the immense progress the U.S. has made in reducing the six main criteria air pollutants and carbon emissions all while growing the economy.” That included a decrease in energy-related CO2 emissions.

But the comment was cut off and changed to make people think Wheeler said something else.

Alexander Nazaryan, a reporter for Yahoo, claimed that Wheeler instead said: “The media does a disservice to the American public” by reporting on global warming.

“Not once in his speech, did Administrator Wheeler call on ignoring global warming. In fact, in the Q&A portion he stated that the Agency is addressing climate change with its upcoming Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule,” the EPA stated.

It also noted that reporters from the New York Times shared the tweet by Nazaryan promoting his Yahoo article without fact-checking the alleged quote. It was also shared by an openly anti-Trump reporter for Business Insider and by the Sierra Club and other groups, which criticized Wheeler over the supposed comment.

“Facts are a stubborn thing, and we hope the media will cover them as such,” the EPA stated.

The full talk by Wheeler is available at C-Span.

Nazaryan has not issued a correction to his tweet nor has his story been updated.

Nazaryan shared with his followers that his question for Wheeler was, “Do you accept climate change as a reality?” He also wrote in his story that Wheeler was “discounting climate change” when he noted that the media only focused on the most dire assessment in a report filed in December.

“I was a little critical of the National Climate Assessment when it came out at the end of last year,” Wheeler said.” I was mostly critical on how it was being portrayed in the press because all the press reports focused on the worst-case scenario.”

“I do think when you need to take a more realistic look at the worst-case scenarios, all the scenarios going forward. There’s a lot of uncertainties when you get 50, 75 years out. We need to better understand those uncertainties and do a much better explaining to people what they are and what they mean,” he added.

Wheeler also criticized the Green New Deal after being asked about it by a reporter.

“I don’t think it is realistic,” he said, noting his experience in emergency responses.

“We’re responding to something everywhere in the country every single day. When we have a large scale incident like the hurricanes last fall we go on the ground and one of the first things we do is to make sure that the grid is up and functioning in order to power the drinking water systems,” he said.

“We consider that to be a primary health function and we have to make sure we have a reliable electric grid to ensure that we have safe drinking water. What the Green New Deal does not do … is value a reliable electric grid. I don’t see that reflected in the green new deal the acknowledgment that we have to have a reliable electric grid.”