- “Fox & Friends” fed interview scripts to Environmental Protection Agency staff ahead of former Administrator Scott Pruitt’s interviews, according to The Daily Beast.
- Emails reviewed by The Daily Beast show producers would provide scripts and topic guidance to Pruitt’s staff ahead of time.
- The coordination produced glowing segments on the agency and its regulations with little or no challenges to Pruitt’s statements.
“Fox & Friends” fed interview scripts to Environmental Protection Agency staff ahead of former Administrator Scott Pruitt’s interviews, The Daily Beast reported Tuesday.
Pruitt’s communications staff was often in touch with “Fox & Friends” producers, who offered information including parts of scripts for review, according to emails revealed in a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by the Sierra Club and reviewed by The Daily Beast.
The coordination resulted in glowing segments on the agency and its regulations with little or no challenges to Pruitt’s statements.
In one email, a producer included a segment introduction that offered Pruitt an opportunity to tout environmental cleanup regulations.
The email reads: “There’s a new direction at the Environmental Protection Agency under President Trump-and it includes a back-to-basics approach. This after the Obama administration left behind a huge mess more than 1,300 super-fund sites which are heavily contaminated-still require clean-ups. So why was President Obama touted as an environmental savior if all these problems still exist?”
In the aired interview, hosts Brian Kilmeade and Ainsley Earhardt stuck to the copy, almost verbatim.
In the interview, Pruitt then doubled down on condemnation of the previous administration’s environmental policy as the host asked few questions and allowed Pruitt to tout the department’s work under President Donald Trump.
Other emails reviewed by the report include Pruitt’s staff pitching story ideas to producers and emphasizing the talking points that Pruitt would prefer, which emails show guided the interview’s script and introduction.
A Fox News spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider, “This is not standard practice whatsoever and the matter is being addressed internally with those involved.”
Multiple reports from April made note of an interview with Fox News host Ed Henry in which Pruitt grew visibly flustered by Henry’s repeated challenges about a pay-raise scandal that emerged within the department, which Pruitt claimed he knew nothing about.
The tense moment seems to be a break from Pruitt’s staff-assured smooth sailing on the network.
The Atlantic later reported that internal emails contradicted Pruitt’s account, and many in the agency were alarmed that he appeared to lie on television.
The report is the latest look at the close relationship between Fox News and the Trump administration, as many top advisers are longtime contributors to the network. The president is also reportedly an avid viewer, often tweeting to highlight shows, segments, and hosts.