February 03, 2006


Don't Believe Everything You See & Hear

I was going to post a video this morning of Stephen Colbert's interview with former Environmental Protection Agency chief Christine Todd Whitman. I was very impressed with her. She had no problem knocking the extreme right wing of her party and she seemed to actually believe everything she said, especially when it came to a woman's right to choose and protecting the environment. And then, via Atrios, I came across this article:

Judge Slams Ex-EPA Chief Over Sept. 11
A federal judge blasted former Environmental Protection Agency chief Christine Todd Whitman on Thursday for reassuring New Yorkers soon after the Sept. 11 attacks that it was safe to return to their homes and offices while toxic dust was polluting the neighborhood.

U.S. District Judge Deborah A. Batts refused to grant Whitman immunity against a class-action lawsuit brought in 2004 by residents, students and workers in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn who said they were exposed to hazardous materials from the collapse of the World Trade Center.

"No reasonable person would have thought that telling thousands of people that it was safe to return to lower Manhattan, while knowing that such return could pose long-term health risks and other dire consequences, was conduct sanctioned by our laws," the judge said.

She called Whitman's actions "conscience-shocking," saying the EPA chief knew that the fall of the twin towers released tons of hazardous materials into the air.

A call to a spokeswoman for Whitman was not immediately returned.
Not only am I disappointed in Whitman (actually I think she should be jailed for her actions), but I also want to know why the hell Colbert avoided asking her about this. Plus, I'm disappointed in myself for forgetting that she was the head of the EPA during September 11th and it's aftermath and allowing myself to get sucked in by her considerable interview skills last night.

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