Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Wild story about a freelancer working in the ABC news division exploiting that role to conduct operations for a Florida utility

The opening anecdote:

[She] was doing precisely what journalists should do on a searing hot day in Stuart, Fla., in July 2018: She confronted a politician with unwelcome questions.

Microphone and ABC News business card in hand, [she] rushed up to a candidate for the Florida House of Representatives before a debate, the candidate recalls, and asked him about 20 dead gopher tortoises that were reportedly found at a nearby construction site. Florida designates the species as threatened.

As far as the candidate ... knew, there were no dead tortoises.

And he would have known. [he], an environmental engineer, served as the wildlife consultant to the construction project. Visibly flustered, [he] told [her] on camera that he didn't know what she was talking about.

"Residents say they aren't buying it," [she] declared in the news-style video she later posted online.

A city investigation found no dead tortoises. In fact, it found no evidence at all that any of the reptiles had ever been present.

That wasn't the only surprise. Though [she] has done freelance work for ABC, she was not there for the network.