This seems like another stupid story, of which there are truly no end for the Trump gang of termites – David Cay Johnston’s term for how Trumpers are infesting our boards, bureaus and agencies in order to eat at the foundations of our government. But this is actually a pretty important story. They all are, but first amendment stories are preeminent.
Despite Trump’s crazy embrace of coal, which isn’t coming back (eye roll), the Trumpers did not want it known publicly that coal companies were shaping energy policy. It’s odd because they generally don’t mind sounding stupid and corrupt, so why do they mind looking stupid and corrupt?
Photographer Simon Edelman published “public domain” photos of Perry meeting with Robert Murray of Murray Energy on In These Times — a left-leaning magazine. The leaked photos are from a March 2017 meeting and show Perry hugging Murray. They also reveal action items on a memo Murray presented to Perry that proposed policy and energy regulation changes that would favor the coal industry.
The pictures do not belong to the government, no less the Trump administration. They cannot forbid the photos from being released to the public. So to try to do so is just another one of those anti-democratic tendencies that they’re so known for.
Releasing the photos should be deemed the act of a whistleblower and protected. Perry and Murray should be the persons to worry about their jobs here. And, as usual, if they hadn’t tried to squelch the photo, we’d likely not know about any of this and we would have just assumed that coal companies were making our energy policy.